Stokely's Tips for Better Pictures (Nov)

Member Articles

By Stokley Wilson

This month's tip we talk about using filters. We all use a variety of filters to enhance or change our images in different ways. We'll talk about the common filters and then the "wild" filters.

The most common filters are ones of single color and or purpose.

UV filters do filter a slight amount of UV "fog", more so with black and white films. UV filters offer more of a protection device than any "real" purpose.

Skylight filters have a slight pink or magenta color. The purpose for this filter is to add a little pink or magenta to scenes that will render a subject slightly cool or blue in tone, open shade, overcast sky, etc.

Colored filters, series 80, 81, 82, 85, FLD, FLW, etc., are all color correction filters. These filters have much darker or denser color than the skylight. The color shifts of these filters are extreme. The uses of these filters are: 80 series - daylight film with tungsten light source, 85 series - tungsten film with daylight, 81 series - daylight film with a cool light source to decrease the color temperature or render a warmer tone, 82 series - daylight film with a warm light source to increase the color temperature or render a cooler tone. FLD and FLW are for use with daylight film with a fluorescent light source.

Other colored filters are generally used with black and white films. Red, green, yellow, and orange are the typical colors used. These render images with higher contrast than non-filtered images with black and white films. They will also render subjects of similar color, lighter on the print than an image of the same subject unfiltered. For instance, red tomatoes will appear lighter with a red filter in black and white photos.

You can use colored filters in color photography other than detailed here. The 85 series is a deep amber color. You can place this filter on your lens to simulate a late or an early sun angle. Color photos will seem to be taken at the "golden hour" when using this filter. Be careful though, all color will be shifted by the color of your filter.

Polarizer filters are the most useful for color photographs that are taken outside in full sunlight. This filter reduces reflections on non-metallic surfaces and adds an increase to the color saturation without an affect to the color balance. All photographers need to have this filter if they are shooting color film. Bluer skies, brighter clouds, reduced reflections on water are some of the promises that this filter holds. Use this filter often.

Special effect filters will be covered in next months column.

Does anybody have any question about what makes a quality filter?



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