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Using Filters to Build a Landscape

In the following series of photos, I show how two filters can be used together to expand the dyamic range of your camera, and correct for contrasty light. 


Each frame was taken on a tripod within seconds of each other.   Every exposure was identical with the camera settings at: 1/5, f11, ISO 100, Cloudy WB, manual exposure, and autofocus.


In the first image, I metered the foliage in the foreground and set the exposure that provided detail in the foliage.  As you can see, this worked well for the bottom part of the frame, but the sky was then overexposed.


 © 2012 Chris Corradino Photography


For the second frame, I added a Hoya circular polarizer and twisted the filter until I saw an added vibrancy to the greens, and greater contrast in the water. Notice how much warmer the entire scene becomes, and the way the filter changes the appearance of the water.  



© 2012 Chris Corradino Photography


In photo 3, I add a 2 stop graduated neutral density filter on top of the polarizer which as you can see below, changes a washed out white sky to it's natural blue appearance.


PHOTO 3: Two stop Neutral Density filter added

© 2012 Chris Corradino Photography


When I got home I applied some cropping, added a touch of saturation, and the final image is seen here.



© 2012 Chris Corradino Photography


This series was taken for Instructional purposes, and I hope you've found it helpful.  Please feel free to share via Facebook, Twitter, etc.



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Reader Comments (6)

Not enough! the next post should be about obtaining / using filters with an 'ordinary' SLR?
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave Pawson
By "ordinary", do you mean a film SLR? If so, these same filters would work with them as well as DSLRs.
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNYIP
Sorry. No. To me (today) ordinary means DSLR? I mean which way do I buy filters? Screw in? Frame and gel? How? What do I start with? How to get benefit from low investment. How to play and enjoy using filters as you seem to do?

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave Pawson
I think you'll find this older post helpful, specifically on ND filters:

Also, for a broader in-depth look at how to create dramatic landscapes check this article here:

April 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterNYIP Editor
Wanted to ask where in the image was the dividing line of the the Grad ND filter placed ? It would be nice to have a tutorial on how to use a Grad ND filter.

April 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArunjeet Banerjee
Hi Arunjeet, I do have a video you may find helpful on how to use the ND filter:
April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNYIP
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