Day 296 – Stop The Light
If I had to say one accessory that has made the biggest difference to my landscape photography, it would be my neutral density filters. They let me control the light to get the shutter speed I want for the look I am after, and in the case of graduated neutral density filters, to even out the light across the entire scene.
I currently use the Lee filter system, and my latest purchase is a Lee Big Stopper, which is a 10 stop neutral density filter. This gives me the option of some really long exposures. For example correct exposure at 1/1000 of a second shutter speed once a 10 stop filter has been added becomes a 1 second exposure.
I took the Big Stopper out for a test run today on sunset, and I am a huge fan of the results. Click on the picture below for a before and after.
Taken right after each other, I ended up leaving the shutter open for a little over 3 minutes after adding the Big Stopper due to the fading light. Even then it was a little under exposed and I increased it by about 1 stop in post processing. The biggest issue is that you really only will have a limited chance to catch the image you are after, if it is during particular light such as sunrise and sunset, because of the long shutter speeds required for the correct exposure.