Using Filters: ND Grad Filters

· 16.February.2019

We all have differing views on what photography means. We each have different viewpoints, different styles, and agendas, but… we all use light. Whatever your end goals are, how effective you are at achieving them is linked to how well you understand and control the light you have to work, regardless if you are making or chasing it.

This group of articles is about filters. It is going to be in 3 chapters defined by filter types.

Part One: ND filters.
Part Two: ND Grad filters.
Part Three: Digital and nontraditional filters.

ND Grad Filters.

This blog is all about Neutral Density Gradient Filters. More people will know what you are talking about if you just use the term ‘grads’. The first thing to note is how a grad is different from a normal filter.

If you’re looking to learn about Polarisers, Reverse Grads, Black & White, soft focus, Star Filters, color correction, Mist, Low Contrast or anything else, this will be in my next article.

The most simple way to think about why GNDs can be useful is when you want to darken down one main area of an image, like in the example below.  I wanted an exposure that gave enough light into the dark shadow areas of the bike, but this means that the sky has lost all detail, using a GND filter pretty much acts like a pair of sunglasses to restrict the light to darken the image.

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