Guest Blogger: Anna Kay
Since the advent of Photoshop the word filters has become synonymous with one click Photoshop actions. Previous to the age of digital manipulations, however, all photographers thought of filters as an accessory that would change the way their lenses captured light. Many people operate under the false assumption that all of the actions of a traditional filter can be mimicked in Photoshop; although there are pre-set and downloadable filters for Photoshop which do an admirable job at replacing the classics, there is nothing better than achieving the result without the need for digital manipulation.
There are hundreds of different filter options available, and it can be tempting to purchase a wide variety of them. There are certain filters that every photographer should have in their bag, though, and the following list will help you compile a good set. Make sure that you do a quick Internet search for an Adorama coupon code to bring your costs down while obtaining these necessary filters.
1.) UV Filter – The UV filter is a standard option that most photographers will purchase in order to protect their lenses. The filter minimizes the amount of ultraviolet light that is captured in an image, but its primary function is to keep your lens clean. The UV filter acts as a buffer between your lens and the rest of the world, helping to reduce the amount of dust that gets on your lens.
2.) Polarizing Filter – A polarizing filter is a must for any photographer who will be shooting outside during the day or capturing images of water. The polarizer minimizes the harsh rays of the sun on a bright day, and it brings out the richness of a blue sky. Rather than taking photographs that result in a muted light sky blue, the polarizing filter will make the color of the sky look very deep and rich. Polarizers can also be used to minimize the reflective qualities of water and glass; if you’re trying to photograph fish through the water, for example, the polarizer will allow you to cut down enough on the water’s reflections that you’ll be able to clearly see the fish below the surface.
3.) Neutral Density Filter – Much like a polarizing filter, the Neutral Density (ND) filter reduces the harsh impact of the sun. Unlike the polarizer, however, the ND filter places an emphasis on cutting down the level of contrast in an image, thus enabling the photographer to capture the scene not as they really see it, but as it would look if it wasn’t such a sunny day. Most photographers use the ND filter to enable a slow shutter speed to let in even less light. Combing a slow shutter speed with an ND filter results in the ability to capture a motion blur effect, which is a technique that is most commonly used for photographing waterfalls.
Once you’ve invested in these three primary filters you’ll want to determine which other filters are the best options for your style of photography. If your focus is on landscape photography, for example, you’ll want to purchase a graduated neutral density filter. The graduated ND filter works in a similar manner to the ND filter, but it enables the photographer to filter out the light from only a specific portion of the image; this becomes very useful if the sun is only shining on part of your subject. There is also a large variety of special effects filters available, and the decision of which of these filters to purchase should be made based on what type of images you plan to capture.
Author Bio: Anna Kay is a professional photographer with over 9 years of experience. She enjoys teaching others what she has learned along the way and likes to share Adorama coupon codes to help others save on their equipment.