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10 Stop ND Filters

Our cameras have never been more sensitive to light. In the old days, when I used slide film, you couldn’t mix 400 ISO slides in a 100 ISO slide presentation because you could see the grainy skies. Now I use image stabilised lenses, that give me up to an extra 4 stops hand-holding ability and I will happily print a 1600 ISO image at A3 size. These two improvements give me a total of 8 extra stops  compared to my slide film days. There are even cameras now that will shoot at 102,400 ISO!

So how have photographers responded to this new freedom? Many have responded by crippling the sensitivity of their sensors by putting incredibly dense filters in front of them, so dark that they look completely black. In one fell swoop they have turned the clock back more than 100 years and returned to the need for multi-second exposures in broad daylight and exposures lasting several minutes at dawn and dusk. Why?

The answer lies in some of the beautiful long exposure images that were produced by...

Read this and many more articles in High Definition inside Issue 4 of Landscape Photography Magazine.

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About Author

David Hay

I took up photography at the age of eleven and have been passionate about it ever since. As a retired biologist I still marvel at the beauty of the natural world and try and capture the colours and forms of natural things around me.

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