Photography Tutorials and Articles

Digital Photography Filters – Graduated ND Filter

Taming the light with Graduated ND Filter

In Part Three, I talked about ND Filters as one of the most popular filters in photography. In Part Four, I will discuss the Graduated ND Filter and its effect on digital photography.

What is Graduated ND Filter?

Graduated ND filter is another great tool in photography! Graduated ND filters start with a dark density at the top, which gradually fades out towards the filter’s bottom. They are handy when you want to mask the bright part of the scene (such as the sky in these examples). They are available with different density choices as well.

Graduated ND Filter

Graduated ND Filter
Graduated ND Filter is dark at the top and gradually fades to transparent.

What kind of Graduated ND Filters do you recommend?

It all depends on how much you want to reduce the exposure for the bright part of the scene. Generally speaking, I have found that a Graduated ND Filter with 6 stops on the top part is very versatile for many scenarios.

Graduated ND Filters with different densities


Can we use editing software to create a Graduated ND Filters effect?

The answer is YES. In post-processing (Lightroom, Photoshop, or any other editing software), you can recreate the effect of Graduated ND Filters by applying a local adjustment to the area to brighten or dark that area. Not sure how to do this? We can help with our Lightroom and Photoshop classes. Check our upcoming classes for more details. You can also opt for our private lessons if you need more customized editing classes.

Applying Graduated ND Filter effect in Lightroom

Graduated ND Filter
Original photo in Lightroom
Graduated ND Filter
After applying Graduated ND filter in Lightroom

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Ted and the Omnilargess Team