Photography is all about balancing light. Usually, controlling the aperture and shutter speed is enough to balance the light and give us good exposures. At times, when there is not enough light, we can raise the ISO to increase the sensitivity of our sensor and capture images at low light levels. But what about those times when we want to reduce the amount of incoming light while keeping a wide aperture or a slower shutter speed?
The answer is Neutral Density Filters (ND Filters). ND filters are semi-transparent pieces of glass designed to reduce the amount of light reaching the camera sensor in order to increase exposure times, without affecting the color of the image. They are chosen by their light-reducing ability and measured in f-stops, where stronger filters appear as darker shades of gray. These filters are ideal for motion blurring moving water such as seascapes or producing soft, blurry clouds.
Derek Cress, last week's SideKick360 winner, made good use of an adjustable ND filter to capture his winning image:
"This photo was taken at Springmaid Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. The organization I work for, Billy Wayne Ministries, was hosting a week-long teen youth conference called Beach Week Blast. At 6:00 in the morning, I set up my Nikon D90 with my new MeFoto RoadTrip and started shooting. It was a beautiful morning, not a whole lot of people on the beach, light breeze, and beautiful scenery." - Derek