How Neutral Density Filters Work With Seascapes

Hello again everyone! Elia Locardi here and it's time to release the second episode of our 8-part video tutorial series about long exposure photography and how to use different types of filters to create unique results. Remember, we are also giving away awesome prizes with each new video release. Read through the post to find out how to enter each contest.

Long exposure photography is a unique art form by itself, but it can also be intimidating when you're first starting. There are many different types of filters to use. While it can be a bit overwhelming at first, NiSi sponsored this video series so we could show how it's pretty simple to get excellent results, even with just a few select filters. And our second episode shows some of that power and simplicity in action.

While you can use a few Photoshop tricks to fake a long exposure sky, water is another story entirely. Using different solid neutral density filters allows you to dramatically drag (slow down) the shutter speed and create images with a unique and interesting look and feel. Depending on the power of the ND filter, you can even slow down shutter speeds in the middle of the afternoon when the light is at its most intense phase. I know that shooting during the middle-of-a-bright-AF-sunny-afternoon isn't usually ideal in landscape photography. Still, since the light is consistent, it's a great time to get out and test your filters and discover just how far you can push things in camera and how much of a difference even a simple solid ND filter can make.

This video examines the limits of dragging the shutter in-camera against using 3, 6, and 10 stop solid neutral density filters and the Nisi V7 square filter holder system. It's important to note how far you want to drag the shutter for the desired effect and how the filters will affect the camera settings. I often joke that the secret to landscape photography is f/8, but there's some truth to that. Even when we use filters for long exposure photography, the optimal settings in-camera are essential, even more so in some cases. I'll explain why we want to keep settings in that sweet spot and use the ND filters to control the shutter speed primarily.

This episode is just a warm-up and an excuse to get our feet wet with long exposure photography gear. Doing this in a controlled environment is key before I literally get my "feet wet" in some more technical shooting locations while combining more filters.

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. If you are new to photography and want to dive deep into my full blown workflow as I travel around the globe with the guys from Fstoppers, be sure to check out my series Photographing the World

NISI Episode 2 Giveaway: Circular Polarizer / Long Exposure Kit, remote, and PTW Tutorial ($600 value)

Congrats to Armindo Fernandes out of Montreal, Canada for winning contest #2! We've emailed you about your prizes but if you did not receive that email, please get in touch with us directly from the account you used to enter!

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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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