Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding neutral density filters, part of Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses.
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One of the most useful filters that you can use is one that doesn't actually alter the…light that passes through your lens.…A neutral density filter does nothing more than cut the amount of light that passes through it.…An ND filter doesn't alter the light's qualities in any way.…It doesn't change its color or diffuse it or anything like that, what they do is broaden…your range of exposure options.…For example, say I'm shooting some moving water in the daytime, and I'd like to use…a slow shutter speed to create a blurry, silky look on the water.…
If it's too bright out I might not be able to get a slow enough shutter speed to smear…the water even if I slowdown my ISO as much as I can.…With the Neutral Density filter I can cut a bunch of light out of my scene, which will…allow me to use a longer shutter speed.…Neutral density filters can also be used to buy yourself more aperture latitude.…As you stop a lens down, you run the risk of softening your image because of something called diffraction.…Many lenses get noticeably softer once you pass f/16.…
The course begins with a look at several common and inexpensive lens attachments, from polarizers to neutral density filters. The course then explores ultra-wide angle and fisheye lenses as well as ultra-long telephoto and macro lenses. The course concludes with a look at tilt-shift lenses, which are useful for architectural photography and special effects, and at offbeat lenses, such as Lensbaby and Holga attachments.
The course also contains Photoshop postproduction advice and examples that illustrate the creative possibilities that an expanded lens collection provides. And because some specialty lenses are extremely expensive, the course also contains advice on renting gear.