I noticed online last week that people were using a Neutral Density Filter when taking photos of waterfalls. I don't own one yet but would like to get one before I leave on my trip in a couple of weeks. Any suggestions?
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Posted 09 April 2014 - 02:06 PM
If you like round filters, a Singh-Ray, Tiffen or Hoya in the largest threadsize you need and step-down rings for narrower lenses probably are your best alternatives. If you already use square filters, any filter for your system makes sense. There are some adjustable ND filters that can be useful for occasional use.
I use a set of Lee 100x100 mm glass ND filters in 2X, 4X and 10X that I bought used with my Lindahl compendium about 20 years ago.
Posted 17 April 2014 - 10:23 AM
No a polarizer will not get the same effect but using a polarizer in conjunction with an ND filter is a great idea as the polarizer will knock down the glare.
And to follow up on Merco's thoughts, I carry round 4-stop, 6-stop and a 10-stop filters with rings. That way I have flexibility to really knock down the light.
One point untouched upon is focusing. Once you get to 10-stop and beyond you will need to focus, then lock focus, then install the filter(s) as focusing will be near impossible with the filter(s) in place.
Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:37 PM
I've taken hundreds of photos of waterfalls over the years and I only use a circular polarizer. It stops down about 1 1/2 stops with the benifit of reducing glare off the water. Use a small aperture like f/22 and it will work to smooth out the water in most circumstances. You only need about 1/2 to 2 seconds to get the smooth look going. More time gives more smoothness but you can overdue it and just get a white blob with no detail. Another rule of thunb, the more water flow the waterfall has the easier it is to blur. Small low flow ones look better with longer SS. it fills them out. When it won't work is when the waterfall is brightly lit by the sun. Try to plan your visit for early or late in the day to avoid the bright sun or go on an overcast rainy day ideally. If the waterfall is in partial sun and shade your best option is to bracket and process it as an HDR.
1/2 seconds - f/16 - iso 200