It is easy for digital photographers to get lazy out in the field — “Oh, I can fix it digitally, later. . . .”
There is nothing necessarily wrong with that approach, but I like to try to get it right in the field, preferably all in one shot. And sometimes that takes a few tricks.
Take the image below I just photographed.
A long exposure can give a nice abstract feel to an image. Using a polarizer slows down your shutter speed about 2 stops helps give you that longer exposure. Combined with a small aperture and low ISO, I had a nice long 30 second exposure to really abstract the water on the lake.
But what about the sky? It is a lot brighter than the darker foreground here and will overexpose. I could shoot it in two different exposures and add in the properly exposed sky later, but I’d rather get it one shot.
So I pulled my 3 stop Graduated Neutral Density filter out of my bag and held it over the lens to bring down the light in the bright sky and equalize the exposure. Voila – you get the image all in one shot. A little more work up front, sure, but worth it to me. (And less work on the computer, later!).
Dock at sunset on Bitter Lake, Day County, South Dakota, USA. Canon 1Dx. 73mm. ISO 100. 30 sec. at f/20. EV +2/3.