While it is true that in full digital age (where it seems that San Photoshop and San Lightroom can fix everything) the filters have fallen into disuse, the truth is that they are often irreplaceable. If you are also a little friend of the edition of the images, either due to ignorance, or by principles, the filters can be very useful. From erasing reflections as if by magic, adjusting disparate exposures in the same image, darkening skies or simply protecting your equipment, the filters have many utilities, often difficult to replace with an editing program with identical good results.
TO PROTECT THE OPTICS
In their beginnings they might not be thought for this purpose, but today and for ordinary mortals, UV (Ultraviolet) or Skylight filters are the most recommended to protect our objectives. For some purists, any element in front of the objective causes us to lose sharpness (which is true, but at minimum levels) and decide not to use anything.
My advice is to use them, especially if you like to go camera in hand. It is better to lose a filter of 50 Euros than a goal of 600 Euros … Just make sure to invest in a good filter , because if you do not, that small loss of sharpness may become too obvious ;-). Brands like Hoya , Cokin , HiTech , Tiffen , Rodenstock , are reliable and will give you a good result.
1. UV FILTER
Absorbs ultraviolet radiation by eliminating a certain mist that produces this type of radiation without affecting exposure. It is the most used of the two to protect the optics.
2. SKYLIGHT FILTER
It helps improve the skies, empowering them. However, this filter slightly stains the image with a pink (very slight) tone. You have it on Amazon from 8 Euros , although I always recommend that you scratch your pocket a little and invest in a good brand.
TO CONTROL THE LIGHT
3. POLARIZING FILTER
If you like landscape photography it is almost mandatory that you have a polarizing filter , and if not, almost too . The polarizer eliminates reflections on certain surfaces such as water, glass or metal, reduces calima (dust or sand in the air) and helps contrast the blue of the sky with the white of the clouds.
4. COLOR INTENSIFIER FILTER: ENHANCER OR INTENSIFYER
These types of filters are characterized by saturating only a certain color range . The most used is the one that intensifies or saturates the warm colors of the image (without altering the rest). Its use in landscape photography is common to intensify the warmth of the scene. There are also intensifiers of blue or yellow tones although they are somewhat less common.
5. NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTER (ND OR DN)
Another interesting filter if you like landscape photography. The neutral density filter is characterized by allowing less ambient light to pass through the sensor without modifying the image shades . They simply obscure the scene so you can play at low speeds in scenes where light abounds. And what does that translate into? Watch the following scene:
Do you see how the sea is more like a mist than the image of the sway of waves? That is because it has worked at slow speeds and, thanks to that, the movement has been printed on the scene, giving us scenes like the previous one. We call it the silky effect of water (or clouds) and it is a resource widely used in landscape photography.
6. NEUTRAL GRADIENT FILTER
How many times have you found yourself in front of a wonderful scene to photograph and have realized that it is so contrasted that it is not possible to obtain it without having to give up that half of the scene is over or underexposed . Surely more than two or three times. The neutral gradient filter is used for these types of situations in which the contrast between two areas of the image is so extreme that we cannot expose both parts of the scene well. This type of filter is characterized by subtracting light in only one half of the scene, thus allowing compensation of both parts of the photograph.
These types of filters, like those of neutral density, have several numbers depending on the number of steps they compensate. For example, the most common are 0.3 ND (1 step), 0.6 ND (2 steps), 0.9 ND (3 steps). Similarly, the way in which they transition from one exposure to another can be hard or soft , that is, it can move from one exposure to another immediately, or gradually.
7. GRADIENT COLOR FILTER
With the same idea as the neutral gradient, but also dyes part of the image of the tone we have chosen. We have them clear to accentuate the sunrises or sunsets or certain part of the scene that we want to intensify, or cold tones, to “cool” certain parts of the scene. You usually find them in pack. The possibilities with gradient filters are many, especially if you enjoy outdoor landscape photography.
8. INFRARED FILTER (IR)
This type of filter is designed to eliminate visible light, and only allow infrared light. Scenes with vegetation, clouds or water, are good scenarios to practice with this type of photography. If you want to know more about infrared photography, check out this article.
9. STAR FILTER
It produces star effects (of different tips depending on the filter) in the light flashes of the scene.
10. FOG EFFECT FILTER
Perhaps the most commonly used filters with effects, since foggy photographs have a very attractive aura and are not always easy to find. In fact, depending on where we live, we will practically never see it . Why not create it with one of these filters ?
11. COLOR LENS FILTERS
They are dyed filters of different colors that put in front of your target, will dye the image of that same color. In analog black and white photography, they were used to contrast their opposite colors. That is, a red filter was used to darken the blue skies, for example. In this case, you can use them artistically at your leisure
What, do you dare to do with any of these filters? There are many reasons to do so because, although sometimes they may seem somewhat outdated, the truth is that they are very useful for improving and perfecting our photographs. Even to obtain images that without them, would be impossible to obtain. Of course, before choosing, I recommend that you think about what type of photography you like or would like to do , and then choose the filter that you think will give you more play. Oh, and don’t forget to check the diameter of your lens before buying the filter .
And as always, if you liked it, we would appreciate it if you reach as many people as possible so they can benefit from it too. Thank you and see you next time