Using Filters In Photographing Water

Rodeo Beach at Sunset
Rodeo Beach at Sunset. A 3-stop, soft edged graduated neutral density filter was used to reduce the exposure for the sky and bring it more into range with the foreground exposure.

Several weeks ago, Vü Filters named me a Vü Visionary, one of the photographers who use Vü Filters in their work and whose work exemplifies what Vü hopes to bring to all photographers. I’m honored to have been named and am thrilled to help spread the word about these high quality filters.

I’ve been using drop-in filters for several years in my landscape photography, to help manage difficult exposure situations such as bright skies and dark foregrounds, or to help reduce exposure so I can achieve long exposures, even in bright daylight. I find the creative freedom that filters enable vital in capturing my vision in camera.  When I began using Vü Filters, I was impressed with quality of the system, and the color consistency from one filter to the next. I know exactly what I’m going to get and I don’t have to do any correction in post for a color cast created by the filters.

I’ve heard the various arguments against filters, from simulating effects in Photoshop, to blending multiple exposures, to using HDR in cases where the dynamic range of a scene is too broad. I’d rather not spend the time in post processing on blending images to fix exposure problems, and I’m simply not a fan of HDR. My current workflow from start to finish is generally only a few minutes per image, and for me, if an image takes much more than that, I’ll usually put it aside and rarely do I come back to it.

One of the first things I was asked to do for Vü Filters was to produce a series of webinars for their YouTube channel. The first of those is now available, and covers the ins and outs of photographing water, and how the use of filters can assist you in creating great images. I hope you’ll find them helpful, and look forward to producing more soon. Let me know what you think, and more importantly, what you’d like to learn!


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