Graduated Lee Filters - for Landscape Work
It may seem obvious to the professional photographer but the use of neutral density graduated filters are an absolute necessity for the landscape photographer. I have been a keen amateur for many years and only started using a tripod full time last few years.
I have managed to produce some reasonable compositions but often would suffer from blown highlights. Photoshop was always my last line of defense for correcting this type of problem. The correct way is to get the exposure right when you take the picture.
I was introduced to neutral density filters whilst on a photographic workshop in Scotland. They really allow you to get good exposure right from the foreground through to the sky. A secondary benefit is that you are forced to slow down and have more time to check composition and exposure.
Exposure can be controlled over a part of the composition without affecting colour balance. Exposure can be controlled by 1, 2 or 3 stops, to suit the individual situation.
The system I now use is made
by Lee Filters and consists of a lens adapter which is
kept on each lens with a purpose made (in-expensive) lens
cover. This in turn allows the filter adapter to snap
quickly on the end of any lens.
Filters come in neutral density, 0.6 and 0.9ND versions and it's easy to build up to the level of filtration that you need.
I have no association with Lee Filters. I just think their product is a good one.
Good luck and good shooting.
The LEE System - Web Page
The LEE System - Starter Kit