This article talks about how to photograph landscapes, especially when a bright sky could be in your way. The article gave tips such as using specific filters that other photographers have used in the past, and how to compare soft and hard neutrality/density grads that appear in photos. Also, it shows how to make the landscape look beautiful and full of quality even in black and white.
The article goes on to talk about the ND grads, saying, ”
There are two types of ND grad filters: hard and soft. Soft graduated ND filters are great for scenes with trees and rolling hills. The hard graduated filters have a more defined gradation transition and are best used with seascapes or flat terrain. So, if you find yourself in the Scottish Highlands, bust out the soft ND grad filters, and when shooting out in the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, it’s best to use the hard grad filters.
LEE filters are the choice of many top professionals. They are optically pure resin filters and are very neutral in color. The LEE filter kits are top quality and feature 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 (one-, two- and three-stop graduated) filters. You can use one filter or stack two or more filters if need be.
For those who are on a tight budget and cannot swing the full kit, I recommend getting a 0.9 (3 stops) in both hard and soft gradations. This will work in most situations. The 0.3 (one stop) is not nearly enough to keep the dynamic range in line. The 0.6 (2 stops) is just enough to keep the sky from burning out and is a good overall choice, especially when shooting in the early morning or late day when the sky is not as bright. The 0.9 is perfect for creating a dramatic sky effect in most scenes. You can always pull it back a little in post-process if it is too much. Lee also has a .75 ND grad filter that is not available in the kits. It is a great happy medium between the 0.6 and 0.9, but if you like Ansel Adams’ work or love dramatic sky images like I do, you’ll dig the 0.9. ND grad filters.”