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Neutral Density filters are designed to allow you to keep your shutter open for an extended period of time in bright settings and avoid over exposure by cutting out the amount of light being let into your lens. You can adjust your exposure according to the density of your filter. Some are darker or more dense while others are lighter and have less density. You can also stack these to create your own density to dial in the exposure you desire.
Here is a little video and some actual shots that show how these work and how a simple filter can add some real creativity to your photography and videos. Even with your aperture closed down as much as possible, sometimes it’s still not enough to keep your shutter open for several seconds on a bright day. I’m using these filters to keep my shutter open longer than normal, so that i’m able to capture movement. A great technique for milky streaming waterfalls in mid-day, or to capture the movement of people in a busy market place or city street. There’s some beautiful examples of these types of shots over at Flickr. Below is a list of recommended ND filters that should provide you with clear, sharp Photos with no odd color casts.
There’s also a long list of very very cheap ND Filters, some ranging under $4 dollars. These ND’s can still help block out light, but usually will introduce a color shift. If the color shifts are not very extreme, they can usually be corrected and color balanced with Photoshop or similar software. These cheap ones are perfect for those who just shoot for a hobby and want to experiment with long exposure photography in mid-day without having to give up a days salary.exposure, f stop, ND filter, neutral density filter, slow shutter speed
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