How to use your hand as an ND Filter


A ND filter is a great thing to have while shooting landscapes. But what if you don’t own one or left it at home while going for a shoot ? Don’t worry, you can use your hand.

Paul Rutherford, a freelance photographer from Boston says that you don’t need a ND filter to shoot Landscape photos. All you need is a hand. Yes, you heard it right ! He has been using this technique recently while shooting Landscape photos and the results are amazing.

This is what the photographer wrote on his blog ” You can see that the sky is totally blown out, too bright, compared to the log.  Although the water looks very bright as well it is still less bright than the sky. A hard edge graduated ND filter here would be perfect to place along the edge of the water/treeline since its a hard edge already.  I don’t have one. So I used my hand as you can see in the video below.  I leave my hand there for about a third of the exposure at first and then adjust from there.  I normally do exposures over 30 seconds, but you can use this technique for shorter times as well.”


He also said ” I use the live view mode to position my hand and then an external remote to trigger the shutter. Of course you have to be careful not to bump the camera so your image will be sharp and you need a steady hand. But its a great thing to have in mind if you forget your filter or don’t have one! ”

Here’s the video of Paul showing how it’s done :

And these photos suggest that this technique works like a charm.





Use this technique to shoot some great landscape photos ! And don’t forget to post them on our Facebook Group

Photo credits – Paul Rutherford Photography