In landscapes and cityscapes, you may encounter the difficulty of having other people in your composition. This could be locals, visitors or even fellow photographers trying to achieve a different compositional angle! Thankfully, most people in an image will pass by hence using a long exposure will allow part of the background scenery to appear in the image.
@ Alessio Andreani
Choosing an appropriate ND filter to achieve this depends on the appearance you want to achieve. If your goal is to be able to see the slight movement of individuals through a scene, exposure may only be a few seconds long in which case a lighter ND filter like a 3 stop or 6 stop ND filter may be used. If your goal is to eliminate any sense of movement but to simply have a ghostly blur appearing through the image, you will need to use a denser ND filter such as a 10 stop ND filter.
@ Mark Galer
Another source of distractions is the presence of unwanted reflections in an image. This typically occurs when you are shooting scenes with wet surfaces such as at the seaside, along streams, waterfalls and in forests. Using a CPL reduces reflections and brings out the natural colour of the scene. This is a vital part of the landscape photographer’s kit because unlike other effects, it is not replicable in post processing. Here are some tips for using a CPL in this manner:
- When shooting waterfalls or forest scenes, I prefer to use a screw on CPL for convenience. This is because I am unlikely to use other filters ; there is usually low ambient light hence ND filters are not needed, and GNDs should not be used in forests for the reasons mentioned above.
- When shooting river beds or rock pools, I use the CPL to ‘see through’ to the bottom of the water and eliminate unwanted reflections. I may also take a second shot without the CPL effect if the reflection is actually desirable.
- When shooting with an ultrawide angled lens and CPL, be wary that with the CPL in one position, some parts of the image will have reduction of reflections while other parts of the image will not. I overcome this by taking two separate images to encompass all areas of the scene having the CPL effect and blend them in photoshop afterward.
@ Dylan Toh
NiSi S5 Filter System and the Sony FE 4/12-24 G
by Dylan Toh