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What Filters Do You Need For Your Camera?

Filters are a fun and artistic additions to camera, creating some stunning and artistic photos, not to mention helpful in getting around some challenging situations that your camera may not be able to get around by itself. Use filters right, and they can prove to be invaluable tools to the photographer without having to rely much on post-processing editing work.

There are so many filters available in the market that sometimes, it can be overwhelming for one to decide which filters to have. To help in this decision-making process, below are some of the essential filters to have for photographers.

1- Skylight Filter

The Skylight filter baically helps protect the front element of your lens from damage or dirt. It also filters out some ultraviolet light, which helps reduce haze. Do note though that although this filter will prevent the worst of the dust, dirt and water reaching the front of the lens, you may still need to clean the filter to prevent this dirt affecting your images.

2- Polarizing Filter

This particular filter increases color saturation and reducing reflections in non-metallic objects. It usually comes in a rotating mount, as the effect varies as you turn the filter. This means that upon attaching the polarizer and framed your shot, you need to slowly rotate the filter while watching the effect through the viewfinder or in Live View, like reflections in non-metallic objects such as water or glass appear and disappear or adjust the color saturation.

The effect is usually at its most obvious when you’re shooting at right angles to the sun, rather than with the sun behind or in front of you. Like in an outdoor wedding being photographed by edinburgh wedding photographer.

3- Straight Neutral Density Filter

This filter allows you to use longer shutter speeds or wider apertures than what would be available to your camera in the prevailing lighting conditions. It is essentially a ‘darkened’ sheet of glass or resin that reduces the amount of light entering a lens that would reach the sensor, kinda like sunglasses for your camera. It does this without affecting the colours, hence the term “neutral.”

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First, with your camera set to its lowest ISO, you need to frame your shot, and then select the shutter speed and/or aperture to give the creative effect that you want (such as a slow shutter speed in the case of blurring movement).

4- Graduated Neutral Density Filter

This filter serves to balance the exposure between a bright sky and a darker foreground, particularly in landscapes and sunrise/sunset shots. It is like a pair of sunglasses with dark glass at the top and clear glass at the bottom.

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By placing the dark part of the glass over a sky that’s much brighter than the scenery below, and lining the transition up with the horizon, you get a more balanced exposure on the image. These filters come in several different strengths, and with different transitions between the dark and clear areas.

5- Variable or Strong Neutral Density Filter

This filter is somewhat similar to the straight neutral density filter but this one has a variable filter that lets you change the strength or “density” of the filter by rotation of the filter elements. It is usually extremely long shutter speeds or very shallow depth-of-field effects in bright conditions.

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The effects are somewhat the same as using a strong plain neutral density filter, but you can use them in slightly different ways. For instance, with a variable ND filter, you can attach the filter before you frame the shot, focus and set the exposure, as the filter allows you to set it to its lowest strength to start with so you can focus compose your shot beforehand.

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