I have enjoyed black and white film photography for quite some time. Digital photography, however, offers the opportunity to create great black and white photos through the use of special software. I especially enjoy looking at black and white photographs that feature long-flowing water like the one below. I made this photograph by using my Lee Neutral Density filters. By doing so, I was able to extend the shutter time to over one minute and capture the “silky water” in both the waterfall and the creek.
The main reason for using neutral density (ND) filters is to reduce the amount of light that can pass through the lens. As a result, if a shutter speed is kept the same, after adding a neutral density filter, a larger aperture must be used to obtain the same exposure. Similarly, if an aperture is kept the same, after adding a neutral density filter, a slower shutter speed must be used to obtain the same exposure. The latter example is how I normally use these filters. ND filters come in two types; solid or graduated. Both types come in different opacities. Solid filters are used in photographs like the one below while graduated filters (also referred to as Grad Filters) are used to either block light or let more light in to a certain part of the photograph. A good example of graduated filter use is for sunrise or sunset photography.
This image was taken with my Sony Alpha A7 II using my Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 Lens set on 24 mm. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/14, shutter speed at 66 seconds and the ISO set at 100. This is a single image processed in Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro.
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