When to Use a Graduated Neutral Density Filter or Variable Neutral Density Filter for Landscape Photography

Landscape photographers always have two major types of filters in their camera bags: and they’re both a type of ND filter (Neutral Density Filter.) Neutral Density filters basically cut out light in a scene and try to do so in a very specific way depending on what type you’re using. They’re essential parts of the process and have been since the film days–especially as lots of the magic of landscape photography comes out in the processing. But if you aren’t sure which filter does what, we’re here to help you out.

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Mika Suutari Captures Breathtaking Finnish Landscapes In Moonlight

All images by Mika Suutari. Used under Creative Commons License

While most landscape photographers would swear by the magic of shooting during the golden and blue hours, there are amazing landscape photographs taken outside of such narrow windows of opportunity. Mika Suutari braves the cold of the night shooting breathtaking scenery of Finland lit only by the moonlight, creating uniquely surreal and almost painterly like images.

The photo project by Mika Suutari, titled “Lunar Effect”, showcases a series of Finland landscapes taken only in moonlight. Mika chose the particular day of full moon for maximum illumination impact on the scenery he was shooting. The timing was also specifically decided at about 30-40 degrees full moon rising from the horizon.

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Lucas Zimmermann Captures Astounding Images Of Traffic Light Beaming Through Mist

All images by Lucas Zimmermann. Used under a Creative Commons license. 

Great photography requires the need to go the extra mile, be patient, and usually the extra effort pays off well. As a true testament to that, Lucas Zimmermann went out late at night to shoot light beams trailing off traffic lights in mist.

Mist makes a beam of light visible via refraction and reflection on the suspended water droplets. So in Lucas’ piece, the elongated beam of light through the mysterious mist adds dramatic trail to the traffic lights. Long exposure photography was used here and the camera was mounted on a tripod to enable the use of extremely slow shutter speed. This allowed the red, yellow, and green lights to be captured within a single frame.

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Yucel Basoglu’s Haunting Black And White Landscape Photos

All images by Yucel Basoglu. Used with permission. 

When the topic of landscape photography is brought up, typically breathtaking scenes of majestic cliffs by the deep blue ocean, lush green forest with snowy mountainous background or a beach with golden glow sunrise come in mind. In contrary to the stereotype, Yucel Basoglu decided to present his landscapes in purely black and white.

Based in Istanbul, Turkey, Yucel Basoglu strongly believes in black and white landscape photography especially when it comes to seascapes, or any scenery involving a large body of water. Yucel further argues that just like how black and white can more effectively reveal the emotion and soul behind a photo of a human smile in comparison to a full color photograph that boldly distracts the viewers with colors, this is also applicable to landscape photography. The true beauty and power of nature can be revealed in black and white landscape photography.  Continue reading…

Benoit Paillé Added A Square Light In The Middle Of Night Landscape Images

All images by Benoit Paillé. Used under a Common Creative License. 

Adding an unexpected element into an otherwise ordinary looking photograph can result in surprisingly interesting results. Benoit Paillé experimented with the concept by placing a square bright LED light right in the middle of night landscape photographs he took at various locations in his photo series “Alternatives Landscapes”.

Benoit used a custom-made LED light by using 1m x 1m square plastic plate holding 300 LED lights with adjustable brightness via a dimmer. The square light was then tied to the nearby trees to create the illusion of the LED light being floating in mid air within the composed frame. Extra care was taken not to physically damage the shooting locations with the installation process, and attention was given to not leave any footprints around the square light. He then composed his landscape photographs using long exposure varying from 30 seconds to 4 minutes.
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Hengki Koentjoro Captures Minimalist Beauty Of The Ocean In Black And White

All images by Hengki Koentjoro. Used under a Creative Commons license. 

Minimalism works best when it comes to effectively isolating the main subject in photographs without unnecessary distractions. Hengki Koentjoro from Indonesia successfully employed the minimalist approach in capturing the lives and objects surrounding the ocean in his photo series “Ocean Recital”.
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The Olympus OMD EM1 Mk II Can Be Handheld for 15 Seconds And Get Clean Exposures

Last night, we were out with Olympus at Chelsea Piers in NYC getting some personal hands on time with the new Olympus OMD EM1 Mk II. We got to play with it in Iceland, and at Photokina, and last night we got to do something really crazy with the camera. Olympus claims up to 6.5 stops of image stabilization. So last night, we put that to the test and were quite surprised.

We tested the camera with the 300mm f4 and the 12-40mm f2.8. Check out what we got last night. Remember, this is all handheld and done by holding my breath. In fact, I ended up feeling sort of woozy last night after trying to stabilize my breath and body over and over again.

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Praetextus: Surreal Long Exposure Black and White Architecture

All Images By Dennis Ramos. Used With Permission. 

“I started experimenting with artificial lighting in portraiture both in studio and on-location.” says Photographer Dennis Ramos–who got started with photography growing up in 90s Brooklyn with a Minolta X-9 SLR. “With my knowledge and experience with Photoshop and photography, my journey had eventually led me to fine art photography in black and white.” But before Photoshop, he shot anything and everything he could get set his focus on, eventually upgrading to digital in 2009, his affection turned to black and white fine art work. In his recent project Praetextus, Ramos features some impressive architecture and long exposure work, and was actually inspired by his background with portraiture.

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