nd filters in photography

Neutral Density Filters (ND Filters)

What Are Neutral Density Filters?

Neutral density filters reduce the amount of light that reaches your camera’s sensor. They allow a photographer to use a wider aperture or expose their images with a longer shutter speed. You will be able to shoot the images you want, even though there may be too much light. All without overexposing your image!

ND filters are semi-transparent pieces of glass that protect your camera sensor.

How Do Neutral Density Filters Work?

Think of neutral density filters as sunglasses for your camera. You can darken the images by adding a filter. Just like putting on a pair of sunglasses!

A photographer can screw them on or place them in front of their lens.

Why Are ND Filters Called Neutral?

The word “neutral” in the name simply means that the filter does not affect the color in any way. They only affect the amount of light that can pass through.

ND Filters For Slower Shutter Speed

Using an ND filter, photographers can shoot with a slower shutter speed on bright days. They can show motion in their images without worrying about overexposing a photograph!

This applies to any photography scene that you want to emphasize motion.

Examples: Waterfalls, Cars, Light Trails, Rivers, Clouds, MORE!

ND Filters For Wider Aperture

When using an ND filter, a photographer can shoot with a wider aperture on bright days. They can get the depth of field they’re looking for without overexposing a photograph.

Example: Get a great shallow depth of field and separate your subject from backgrounds.

Example: Shoot images in harsher light.

ND Filters & Density

ND filters come with different densities depending on how much light you want to reduce.

They are numbered and specified by their density number.

Example: A 3-stop ND filter reduces the light by three stops. All else being equal, a photo that was exposed for just one second can now be exposed for eight seconds!


ND filters are great news for photographers. They allow for some wiggle room when exposing shots. They give you options for dealing with available light.