Many landscape photographers consider lens filters to be the most important accessories they own, carrying an extensive assortment that borders on obsession. But what if you don’t want to take things quite so far, but are interested in a few filters that will greatly enhance your results? Read on!

This tutorial from the Andy H Photography YouTube channel narrows down your choices to a small (and less expensive) filter collection in barely four minutes. He puts it like this: “In this video I demonstrate the impact of the “most important filters” for landscape and nature photography and explain how to use them.”

According to Andy, you can get by with just four: a circular polarizer (CPL) and three neutral Density (ND) filters of varying strengths—an ND8, ND64 and ND1000. He also explains a technique known as filter stacking and why you may want to try this too.

In this behind-the-scenes episode on the beautiful Mediterranean coast you’ll watch Andy capture a variety of photos—first with no filter at all, and then while employing the four mentioned above to shoot the same scene. You’ll not only earn the necessary camera settings for each type of filter but see the huge difference these accessories make to the look of the images.

Andy begins with the CPL that has a rotating from ring for increasing or decreasing the effect you achieve. A quick comparison of the CPL image with the first unfiltered shot  reveals several key characteristics. The polarizer darkenes the sky and eliminates unwanted reflections on the water.

The video becomes even more interesting as Andy captures a succession of images with his three ND Filters, and the drama of the photos increase as he proceeds. We’ll leave it to him to explain the proper techniques and required settings, but the basic concept is this: ND Filters let you to make long exposures in bright sun by cutting the amount of light reaching the camera’s sensor—depending upon the strength of the filter employed.

Doing so enables you to enables you to capture eye-catching images of subjects in motion, with cotton-like clouds and soft-silky water for a surreal effect. You’ll also see how the recommended filters can be used in combination to further heighten the impact.

Andy’s instructional YouTube channel is a great source of shooting and editing lessons, gear discussions, and more. So pay a visit and explore what he has to offer—especially of landscape and nature photography are among your prime interests.

We also recommend that you watch the earlier tutorial we posted, demonstrating how to take your macro photography to the next level with several great tips from a small-world pro.

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