Espresso Camera Tips

These are the first of many little fast photography and Film Making tips I have used over the years in my business and I like to say my passion.
In these espresso tips I hope you will make use of and feel free to add your own.


Espresso Camera Tip 1.

Using an ND filter or a variable ND filter on your exterior shots will give you greater control over many aspects of your exposure and amount of light hitting the sensor or film.

What is an ND filter?

ND filters are a way for your camera to control the amount of light entering the lens uniformly across the colour spectrum. It should be part of every photographer and filmmakers lens arsenal because it can allow

for greater exposure times in bright sunlight while controlling the apertureVariable ND Filter

Think of an ND filter as a pair of sunglasses for your eyes. The brighter the sunlight the darker the glasses or ND filter you need. Imagine its bright outside and you are

having to squint your eyes in order to control what you see then putting on a pair of dark sunglasses will allow your eyes/iris or aperture in a camera to open up and control

the range lights and shadows in the scene. The only difference is that ND filters will not affect how dark the composed scene comes out unlike my sunglasses. My additional

tip then is to compose your scene or subject prior to fitting the filter onto your lens. ND filters can be used to great effect in controlling the length of exposure to create scenes

such as the classic dreamy waterfall effect.

Why use a variable ND filter then!

I wouldn’t go anywhere now without my variable ND filter for my Canon DSLR. A variable ND as the suggests controls the different stops or darkness of the sunglasses and

is used regularly in my exterior filmmaking, such as the Salon Prive Aston Martin film I shot last year.

Instead of having different ND filters for my photography and filmmaking I use a variable ND to control different lighting conditions out in the field and I have used it to

great effect on my still car photography before. So, an ND filter or Variable ND should be a part of your lens kit that never leaves the case. I use a variable simply for ease of use and why have many ND filters in the

kit ready to lose when one  can be enough.

Below are  examples on control of the DOF with and without the ND filter attached.

                    No ND Filter                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Shot on a sunny day at high shutter rating and raw.

Shot on a sunny day at high shutter rating and raw.


                   With ND Filter

Shot on a sunny day at a high shutter rating and raw.

Shot on a sunny day at a high shutter rating and raw.


 Take note of the Shallow DOF or depth of field in picture 2 (with ND Filter), this I will cover in a later Espresso post.

I can’t afford an ND filter!

Can you afford not to? Yes they are expensive and many would have you fork out for a £200  filter and there probably are different technical differences in how each one reacts.

If you are new to digital photography/Filmmaking and have visit my blog site, firstly thanks for taking the time to read my blog and  secondly you can purchase lower priced Variable ND filters from as little as

£18.00 upwards. Buy one and experiment.


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