photographic filtersPhotography is a vast subject and the photographic equipments are unlimited.

Photography is no doubt an interesting career, but if you don’t have knowledge of the additional accessories, then photography is night mare for beginners [Essential photography accessories].

When you ask an apprentice about the important equipments in the camera, the normal answer will be lenses, tripod, flashes and a carry bag.

Photographic filters are often overlooked as important accessories. But, filters carry an equal importance with all other camera accessories.

When it comes to photographic filters, many questions arise such as why you need them, why you use them, why filters are important, what are the different types in filters, how to know the use of a filter, how to recognize filters, which one to use and where to use.

Basically the use of photographic filters in camera is to safeguard the lens. The lens is the most delicate part of the camera. When the harsh UV rays in the sunlight hits the camera lens, the lens sensitivity is lost. So, the use of a UV filter will cut down the UV rays from hitting the lens. The filters are just like sunglasses which protect the eyes from sunlight.

The photographic filters are made with different materials such as:

  • Glass filters: The most expensive filters and last for long period
  • Optical filters: Cheaper than glass filters, but can be easily damaged. They are made with special form of plastic.
  • Gel filters: These are extremely delicate and easily damaged lenses. Polyester gel filters are more durable than other gel filters.

The most common types of photographic filters are:

  • Clear filters: Known as window glass filters or optical flats. These filters are completely transparent and cannot stop any form of light. Its sole use is to protect the lens.
  • Ultraviolet filters: These filters reduce the harshness in light caused by UV radiations. These lenses are transparent and can be used before the camera for all shots. A strong UV filter such as HAZE-2a or UV17 can be used to give a warming color in the photo. These filters can effectively produce the haze effect and cut down the purple fringing in the photos.
  • Infrared filters: These filters reduce the visible light and only pass infrared rays to the lens. This is useful in aerial photography.
  • Natural density (ND) filters: These filters are used to obtain proper revelation in the high concentration lighting surroundings. It creates a reduction in the harsh light and neutralizes while it reaches the lens. These are used for longer exposure of lens in a high intensity light. ND filter gives light exposures without changing the lens opening. Graduated neutral density (GND) filters also comes under this category of filters.
  • Polarized filters: This filter enhances the contrast, deepens the color saturation and reduces glare and reflections. This filters least effect the photography. But, the effects can be seen in the photo processing. The polarized filters help the processing easy and make the images look more interesting. Polarized filters are used in outdoor shooting as they support the color saturation and contrast in the images. Reflections formed by glass or water can be controlled by using polarized filters.
  • Color correction filters: These filters help you to balance the unwanted color in the images in special lighting conditions. Use of 80A blue filter neutralizes the sharp tungsten light and makes it look like a normal daylight in the lens.
  • Contrast filters: These are normally used in black and white photos to improve contrast. A colored contrast filter is used to lighten or darken a color. For e.g. a green filter is used in the camera to highlight a red rose against green leaves.

Photography can be hobby or a profession, but you need photographic filters in your cameras. Images clicked with filters give a noticeable difference when compared with non-filtered images.

Experimenting these different filters can yield new combination in photography.


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