A Look at Using ND Filters for Landscape Photography

ND filters are tremendously useful for landscape photographers, giving you far more creative control over your images and the abiilty to make photos that simply would not be possible otherwise. If you are new to landscape photography, check out this neat video that features an experienced photographer showing you some of what you can accomplish with one. 

Coming to you from Gary Gough, this great video will show you some of what you can accomplish with an ND filter. Essentially, ND filters are simply dark glass that reduces the amount of light passing through the lens and reaching the sensor or film, allowing you to use longer shutter speeds. They come in different strengths that cause different reductions in the amount of light. The most common options are three-, six-, and 10-stop filters, though as you can see, you can also use options like 15 stops, as Gough did for this shoot. This allows you to do things like smooth out turbulent water or create fascinating cloud trails across the sky. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Gough. 

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out "Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi." 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Man, all that landscape stuff is sending me back more frequently every month to DPreview. Just saying. I know it's been said before that this place is mostly targeting new comers, but something attracted me to come here in the past and I can't figure out what anymore.

Thank you for posting this video from Gary Gough. He is truly knowledgeable. Even after shooting landscapes for a lifetime I still learn new things from him. The best part is the focus on technique and composition instead of gear. Highly recommend his YouTube channel.

Worse way for new people willing to start long exposure photography is when someone is teaching them bad habits with lack of intuitive on field skills. f/18 - f/20 when subject is so far makes no sense yet being confident with it. Then instead of increasing ISO just a notch shooting the same scene on f/7.1... Using Nisi app... Use photopills app where people can calculate Depth of field plane to see for them self that staying on lens sweet spot is what you should teach them.

Please try to explain people new to something like ND filters that we use them to avoid diffraction and that f/20 is especially when there is no foreground with details in our composition absolute worst possible thing to do.

Thank you so much for your understanding

Regards from Ireland with 600 seconds long exposure in the middle of the day