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You´re wondering how to take those long exposure pictures without having to wait until the sun goes down, finding your way in the dark with flashlight, falling on the rocky beach and breaking your camera gear?  Believe me, I´ve been there!

heidiDon´t worry, there is a way - ND filters.

Nd filter is a piece of gray colored glass you put in front of your lens to reduce the amount of light hitting the camera sensor allowing you to use either a wider aperture or slower shutter speed. The deeper the color the stronger the effect.  You can think of them as sunglasses for your camera.



There are many other uses for ND filters but we´ll be talking about long exposures for smoothing out water and clouds. Examples of what ND filters can be used for:

- Reduce visibility of moving objects.
- Adding motion blur.
- For using wider aperture to stay below diffraction limit.
- Reduce depth of field on a bright day.
- Get below the flash sink speed and still use large aperture.


Download this file (ND_Filter_chart_.pdf)ND Filter Chart[Chart for calculating exposure times with Nd filters]75 Kb

You have been thinking of taking the plunge and dive into the RAW image format? Here´s a short article on JPEG and RAW.

So, what is RAW image format? - RAW images contain minimally processed data from the camera, they are not processed and therefore not ready to be printed. Unlike Jpeg´s you´ll always have to process the image before you print it. RAW´s are often called "digital negatives" since they fulfill the same role as film photography´s negatives; both are not directly usable as an image but have the information needed to create one. That´s why processing a RAW image is often called developing. You can think of RAW files as undeveloped film when Jpeg are the prints you got back from development.

Pros of JPEG

- Small file sizes so they don´t fill up your memory card and hard drive as fast.                      

- Easy to view and edit in any editing program.

- Easy to upload online. (Facebook for example)

Cons of JPEG

- Less control over the final image.

- Compressed and less data to work with.

- Much harder to correct mistakes.

Vignir Már on Flickr