on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Graduated Filters in the Digital Age

Revisiting the use of graduated filters in modern digital cameras

David Tolcher

An enthusiast who enjoys having photography as an excuse to get out in to the wilds.


Like many landscape photographers coming from a film background the use of graduated ND filters was second nature and the only way to shoot transparency film. To squash a dynamic range involving foreground and sky into 3.4 stops you get of Velvia 50 was a challenge that needed a certain amount of skill in positioning and selection of ‘grads’.

For me, since the introduction of the D700 in particular and its huge usable dynamic range my filter use on digital has diminished to the point where I don’t often use them at all making do with highlight/shadow recovery or blending of exposures to achieve the desired results. This isn’t an uncommon story amongst my friends and regular photo trip partners.



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