November 2011
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5 Photo Tips – some tips about filters, explanations, different types (contd..)

Tip 921 (Functionality of a graduated ND filter): The core of a graduated ND filter is an optical filter, that varies the transmission of light. The graduated ND filter is composed of 2 parts – one is the filter that has neutral density, and the other is clear. This allows such modifications such as being able to darken a bright sky, thus ensuring that the different elements of the photo are properly exposed.

Tip 922 (What is a center spot ND graduated filter): A center spot ND graduated filter is a type of ND graduated filter whose physical construction is such that it is clear at the edges and slightly opaque in the center. A center spot ND graduated filter is used for special effects, or for light falloff.

Tip 923 (Where to use a graduated ND filter): Graduated ND filters are not used for normal lighting conditions in the sky, but are used for more extreme conditions. These filters allow the adding of shadow detail; or are used in conditions where there is a lot of variety in the light conditions. In such extreme variations, the eye can adjust to the different light conditions, but a camera is not able to do that, so this filter helps in getting more details in the washed out regions of the photo, as well as in the darker regions. Consider a case where there is a lot of sunlight, and you want to capture details of objects at the bottom of the image. In such cases, a grad filter allows you to filter out some of the light of the sun and capture the details of the parts of the image you want to capture (consider a scene where there is a lot of sunlight, and you want to capture some of the details of the landscape).

Tip 924 (Which cameras can a graduated ND filter be used with): It is not necessary that a grad (graduated ND filter) be used with only SLR’s. You can use a graduated ND filter with normal point and shoot cameras as well, but it can take some effort.

Tip 925 (Fixing Graduated ND filters on a camera): For fixing the graduated ND filters on a camera, there are special holders available which are placed in front of the lens using holders and adaptor rings (with these holders, you can place the filter either up or down).

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