As a landscape photographer, you want to spend most of your time outdoors scouting the scene and composing your shot. As the sky lights up and the waves roll in, no one wants to be fiddling with gear and trying to attach filters while your tripod is dangling precariously on rocks.
Luckily, for those of us who prefer minimal kit, the Olympus OM-D E-M1X has one very handy new feature, a live ND filter! You can photograph long exposures and capture moving elements without the need to attach anything externally. Thats right, it's as good as it sounds!
Picture this, you're down at the beach, a wave is wrapping perfectly around a rock and you've decided upon an ideal composition to frame this scene. When shooting on Manual Mode, all you need to do is click 'Menu' then in 'Shooting Menu 2' you'll find the option for 'Live ND Shooting'. Selecting between five levels of effects from ND 2 (one shutter speed step) through to ND32 which is the equivalent of 5 steps.
The true magic happens as you peek through the viewfinder or LCD screen though. With the Olympus Live ND filter, you can actualy watch as the elements move through your image with the desired effect in use, providing a sample of what will be visible in the photograph. This feature paired with the new optical design of a magnified electronic viewfinder means you're treated to a technological advancement that few photographers have access to.
The enhanced image stability of the E-M1X with its 7.0 shutter speed steps of compensation performance also allows you to capture these longer exposures hand-held. Both images featured within this article were taken without a tripod at dusk, the rocks remain completely sharp whereas the moving areas of the water blur beautifully throughout the frame.
On the topic of stability, while you're at the beach, a great technique to try out is panning. With the increased image stabilisation, you can pan quickly from left to right to produce creative motion blurs.
The below image was captured with the following settings: