Photography tips

Get an ND filter for long-exposure seascapes

Landscape photographers love graduated filters for taming bright skies, but a 10-stop ND (neutral density) filter could prove the landscape photographer's best friend by allowing super-long exposures for silky blur effects.

Use a polarizing filter to cut through reflections

You can use software recreate the effect of a polarising filter on a blue sky, but polarisers do much more than this. They also cut through reflections in glass to reveal what's behind windows, display cabinets and glazed pictures.

Use an infrared filter for surreal effects

The world looks very different when revealed using nothing but infra-red light, and you can get lens filters which cut out visible light and leave only this invisible longer-wavelength light.

Try colorful cross-polarization effects

For this colorful abstract technique, all you need is a polarising filter and a selection of transparent plastic objects. A low cost school set of rulers, protractors and set squares will work perfectly.

Learn to use an ND graduated filter

Sometimes the sky in a landscape is just so bright that you can't find an exposure that captures both the sky and the landscape itself. This is where you need a graduated filter, which is part of any landscape photographer's essential kit.

A polarizing filter can help you get stunning skies

Polarizing filters have many effects, but one of them is to deepen blue skies – and the deeper the blue to start with, the stronger the effect. There is a knack to using them, though, and be aware that you can get uneven sky tone if you use them with wide-angle lenses.

Tricks and tactics for ND filters

ND filters let you use very long exposures in broad daylight, to product silky-smooth motion blur effects in water and skies, but they can be tricky to use because they are almost completely opaque! A mirrorless camera may be able to 'see' through them, but with a DSLR you will need to check the exposure and composition before attaching the filter – and then apply the necessary exposure correction for that filter.

Levitation photography: how to make objects float

You can make objects appear to hang in mid-air using a combination of clever shooting setups and quick and simple retouching techniques later. It sounds complicated, but it's really quite simple to do.

Make your own bean bag

Get stable shots with a simple DIY bean bag to support your camera. You can put it on the ground on a wall or on the roof of your car, and mold it to fit the shape of your camera.

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