How Elia Locardi Uses Neutral Density and Polarizer Filters Together

It's time to release the fourth episode of our 8-part video tutorial series about long exposure photography, and how different filters can produce dramatic results. Remember, each time we release a new video, we also give away some awesome prizes. Read through this post to find out how to enter this week's contest.

In the previous episode, we explored how to capture streaks of water using exposure times between 1 and 4 seconds. The key was balancing the exposure time with the surging water washing towards my camera and then finding the most visually appealing result. We also found out that proper shoe selection is equally as important as filter selection!

In the past 3 episodes, we've built up a nice little foundation of knowledge about how to use various ND filters and a polarizer to drastically change the look of a seascape photo. Now, let's take it one step further and apply all of the techniques we've discussed so far and apply them to a truly epic location. With surging water, uneven and tricky footing, it's best to have an idea of what you want to capture before you haul your gear into the ocean. This lesson blend together everything we've learned so far as we focus on finding the best and most unique composition. Thanks to NiSi for supplying me with a copy of their brand new V7 Filter Holder Kit which made it easy to add neutral density on top of a polarizer to maximize the clarity of water while simultaneously adding motion in the waves. 

Below you can see my favorite composition before any filters were added and the final photo after adding a polarizer and 6 stop neutral density filter. 

In the next episode, we'll look at the NiSi 15-Stop Neutral Density Filter and how to get an extremely long exposure effect on cityscapes and architecture. Make you subscribe to the Fstoppers Youtube Channel and follow my Puerto Rico Landscape Playlist to catch all 8 episodes in the series. 

Don't forget to enter this new contest and follow along with this series as we explore more of Puerto Rico and discover more about long exposure photography. With each new episode, NiSi will be giving away a unique filter set to one lucky winner and I will be giving away a free copy of any one of my 4 masterclass tutorials from the Photographing the World series. 

Congratulations to Janne Ranta out of Julkujaervi, Finland for winning contest #3, and good luck to everyone who enters this new contest and future contests to come!

Elia Locardi's picture

Elia Locardi is an internationally recognized professional travel photographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, writer, public speaker & educator who spends his life shooting some of the most beautiful locations in the world. Location independent since 2012—he and his wife live a 100% mobile lifestyle and have visited more than 50 countries since 2009.

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I often do this. Only because I’m too lazy to take the CPF off when putting on the ND. Above it seems to be introducing a pink colour cast. Hardly matters as Elia will hyper process the colours afterwards anyway.

Well the pink cast is because the two images were shot with a good bit of time between them. The first shot was early on after the composition was established and we were showing the difference the polarizer made. The second, longer exposure shot, was his favorite image and the sun was now setting.

Yeah, my fault. I hand Patrick all the files for editing. I was shooting auto-white balance so there will be some inconsistency.

Wait, confused here. You have Patrick edit YOUR image? Do you sign off on it or is it more of a team effort? Just curious as obviously pp is a huge part of the art.

Ha no, when we get done filming, before we move onto the next project/lesson, Elia dumps all the raw+jpeg images onto our servers. I simply grab "straight out of camera" images and then weeks later Elia sends me his favorite adjusted images as well as the final edited photo from his end. When we publish articles and videos, sometimes the images are the jpegs straight out of the camera and sometimes they are raw files with basic adjustments. That's the discrepancy you are seeing (and well the two shots were taken 40 mins apart).

LOL, yeah. Though to be fair, Patrick is pretty damn good at editing landscape photos now. ;)