Sometimes A Neutral Density Filter Just Isn’t Needed

The more common method of making the sky very dark, almost pure black, is to use a graduated neutral density filter.

But an expensive filter like that is not always needed.

Look at this photo.

nd-filter-not-needed

Composition like this is ideal for a graduated neutral density filter. But I did not use one.  Instead I relied on the dynamic range of the camera’s sensor. I keep my camera on RAW, which gives me far more flexibility during processing to recover highlights and shadows.

So inside of Lightroom I used the Black and White tool to bring down the exposure of only the sky.

A neutral density filter was not needed.

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