There are many challenges that can be presented to you while shooting in various areas and times of the day. Shooting outside in direct sunlight is an issue that can be dealt with in several different ways, however we are going to discuss the use of using filters to get better quality images rather than just adjusting the shutter speed or aperture of the camera.
A polarizing filter can work wonders if you are shooting in harsh sunlight. It will polarize the light before entering the camera, enabling the camera to see right through harsh light and reflections, and deepen blue and green colors. As you can see in the image below, polarizing filters can help generate high quality images if used correctly. With a circular polarizer, you can control the strength of the polarizing filter.
Neutral Density Filters
An ND (or Neutral Density) filter is great for harsh lighting conditions. Essentially, an ND filter dumbs down all wavelengths of light (neutralizing them), allowing you to have the aperture open wider for a shallow depth of field while not having a completely overexposed image. Sometimes neutral density filters are used to aid in using slow shutter speeds in harsh lighting conditions to get a motion blur effect.
As a treat, check out Devin Graham’s work on YouTube. He uses polarizing filters on DSLRs and is able to produce top notch films.