One of the most useful tools a landscape photographer should have in their bag is a neutral density filter. Or Multiple ND filters. The market has so many options from big name companies to generic no named filters from chinese shops. With so many options out there it can be hard to weed out the trash from the diamonds.
I started using ND filters a few years back when I picked up a few Cokin P series filters. While as a newbie to the ND filter game of photography these filters were a great building block upon which to learn how to use them properly. Now I was limited in my use of the Cokin filters due in large to the color cast they created in my images. Now before I continue I should quickly talk about the difference between color cast and white balance shift. A color cast is a non natural color in you image as a direct result of the ND filter. For the Cokin ND filters I was getting a magenta color cast. White balance shift is a natural color change to the white balance that is very easily corrected in Lightroom or Photoshop with all RAW files. There is no artificial color added to the highlights or shadows.
A second way that the Cokin filters limited my overall growth as a photographer was that I wanted to take very long exposure during the day time lighting conditions. Unfortunately for me the Cokin filters aren't available dark enough to allow me to achieve this. What I needed was a 10 or 9 Stop ND filter. This means that 9 or 10 stops of light are cut out and I can leave the shutter open for longer periods of time with out over exposing. Essentially I was applying very dark sunglasses to the front of the lens. Don't believe me? Try it out for your self. Next time you're out in the day time look at the clouds with out sunglasses on, then put on the sunglasses... Notice the increased detail in the clouds that you can see. This is how ND filters work. So I set out to find a new brand of ND filter that had 10 stops of light reduction. In my quest I came across the typical Lee Big Stopper, and Formatt HiTech but refused to spend $200-300 on a filter. I spent several months looking at sample images of all the major bands of filters before I found SRB-Photographic. However there was one catch, I could only find one review on them! ONE! Thats IT! I found 2 or 3 sample images from other people that have the filter and I felt that the images were inconclusive for me to make the more accurate decision on buying it or passing. However when I went to the website to look at their products, I realized very quickly that for a price of $50 I could be one of the first people to really review and test out their filter on a regular basis. So I bit the bullet and made the purchase. And I am so Happy that I did this. The filter is Amazing. It's so clean of an out put, thus far I have not noticed any major white balance shift and ZERO color casting. That to me makes this filter a perfect buy and would fully recommend it to anyone. SRB-Photographic ND1000 filter is perfect for long exposure and landscape photography.
Check out my YouTube video below for the introduction to this amazing filter and check back soon for more How-To and tutorials for taking stunning images using the ND1000 filter!!
I'll see you guys next time.