9. ND Filter. One filter I never leave home without is my Vari-ND filter from Singh-Ray. This filter blocks two to eight stops of light and allows you to shoot 30-second exposures in the middle of a sunny day. My main use for this filter is adding silky water effects to ocean scenes and rivers. While traveling I often get one chance to photograph a coastline or stream because our itinerary doesn’t allow a lot of extra time. This filter allows me to get a silky effect in my streams and surf at midday. The effect of a 20- to 30-second exposure on moving water is amazing, and the scene takes on an ethereal mood. The silky water will give your image an interesting mood and make the viewer pause to take another look at your shot.
10. Bad Weather. Another way to achieve a fresh perspective without using a specialty piece of equipment is photographing in bad weather. I like to say “bad weather equals good weather” when it comes to photography. I once was shooting at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah. This arch has been photographed thousands of times from every angle imaginable. As we hiked up to the arch, a large thunderstorm engulfed us and some people in our group wanted to go back to the car. I thought this storm was perfect—who knew what might happen at the arch. As soon as we arrived the storm was winding down and sun was breaking through the clouds. Just at that moment a rainbow appeared beside the arch. Unbelievable! Remember, bad weather equals good weather.
Now think about the subject you photograph the most. Maybe it’s people, landscapes or travel images. Whatever your subject is, choose one of these methods and give it a try. Chances are, you’ll create a fresh perspective in your images!
Tom Bol is a freelance editorial and commercial photographer based in Colorado. Visit www.tombolphoto.com.