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What is the most commonly used filter?
- The UV (ultra violet) or skylight filter is often used as a protective lens to keep moisture, dust and scratches off your camera front lens.
- Some photographers see little use for filters as many of the effects provided by filters can be obtained through software such as Photoshop.
- Others see the UV filter as the first choice in protecting the camera lens coating.
What is a polarizing filter for?
- Polarizing filters come in two types.
- The circular one is best used with digital cameras as the linear type does not always work in digital format.
- The effect of using a polarizer is to give richer colours (colour saturation) and reduce reflections.
- Best used when pointing the camera at right angles to the sun. Less benefit is gained when pointing towards or away from the sun.
- This lens gives more contrast in your images but be aware that looking through your optical viewfinder will not register the difference. You must view through the LCD screen and with practice you can use the histogram to monitor the exposure for best results.
- The polarizer is useful when you want to deepen the intensity of the sky colour.
- When shooting water scenes or through a glass window reflections can be eliminated.
What is a neutral density filter for?
- This is one of the most useful filters on the market. It reduces the amount of light getting to your image sensor which seems self defeating as adequate light is the cornerstone of photography.
- A classic use of this filter is when photographing waterfalls. Use of a tripod is essential as you will be using slower shutter speeds. This gives the effect of silky smooth waterfall.
- Neutral density filters come in different levels of light blocking ability. You can have the equivalent of two or even three stops.
- Experimenting with this filter can give exciting and unexpected results.
What is an infra red filter?
- If you want really dramatic images the infra red filter is worth a look at. See the world through infra red light!
- Infra red film in film cameras requires careful handling and digital cameras make the process so easy.
- Skies blacken and backgrounds darken considerably and highlights appear to glow.
- Great for experimental art photography.
What is a starburst filter?
- The starburst filter is a special effect filter that transforms points of light into a dramatic star cross flare.
- Simple sources of light such as streetlights, car lights and the like captured through a starburst filter can enhance an average picture into a high impact image.
- They can also give a slight soft focus effect.
What is a skylight filter?
- Skylight filters are used to add warmth to your images. A subtle pinkish glow is achieved.
- Can enhance a sunrise or sunset where the desired effect is not quite there without a little help from the filter.
- Used when not really required it can over compensate and produce un natural images.
Will one size of filter fit all my camera lenses?
- No, filters come in a variety of diameters but adaptors can be bought so you can fit one size of filter to a range of lens sizes.
- Weigh up the cost of filters with the cost of adaptors. It may depend on how many lenses you have and what filter diameter they fit.
Any disadvantages of using filters?
- Your captured images can be unpredictable at times but practice makes perfect and digital cameras allow us to take lots of images at low cost so keep shooting until you get to know your filters.
- Remember if you have a digital darkroom you can apply even more filters.
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