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TECH TIP: Getting the Shot with Corey Rich: Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters

Life is all about balance. And the same can be said for photography, especially when it comes to exposing for highlights and shadows.

In my latest episode of Getting the Shot for Adorama TV, I wanted to share a story about how I created one of my favorite images: a picture of David Lama and Daniel Streuerer approaching Cerro Torre, one of the most infamous and beautiful mountains in the world, located in the southern part of Argentine Patagonia.

After getting an alpine start of midnight, we finally saw Cerro Torre come into view. The sunrise set Cerro Torre ablaze in alpenglow, and I immediately recognized this as a great photo opportunity. Knowing when to stop the adventure in order to make a picture is key, and it’s a card I’ll only play if the result will really be exceptional.

You may be wondering, how did I get both subjects—the climbers and the mountain—properly exposed in a single frame? The answer is easy: graduated ND filters. In this episdoe, I go over how ND filters work, why you don’t need to bring a filter case if you’re moving light and fast, and which ND filter you should get for your first. Achieving balance in life is hard, but getting properly exposed photographs is easy, just as long as you know how to use ND filters.

Hope you enjoy this latest Tech Tip, and be sure to check out more videos like this on


  1. Hey Corey, excellent lesson. I remember the one you did a few years back about the GND filters with the rock climbers in the Grand Canyon. I’m surprised you shoot without a filter holder. I can see how those would slow you down, as they often slow me down. I shoot with LEE filters and have been pretty happy with them, but have worked with Schneider before on cinema sets. Anyhow, cheers man, and thanks for sharing these lessons are awesome. – Dave

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