Mt. Sneffels, Colorado
Mt. Sneffels, San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Photo © Jim Doty, Jr.

A common problem for nature photographers is the contrast range between bright skys and a darker foreground, or a bright scene and a much darker reflection of that scene in a lake or pond. Expose for the bright part of the scene and the dark part disappears. Expose for the dark part of the scene and the bright part is washed out. For years, the secret weapon for such situations has been the graduated neutral density filter (also called a graduated gray filter or split neutral density filter).

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