Beginning Photography Tips & Techniques : Basic Camera Filters


Hi, this is Scott Vallance on behalf of Expert
Village.com. We are going to be talking about filters today. I am going to tell you about
six of the basic filters. The first one would be the skylight filter which is basically
a clear filter that protects your lens. It is the same thing as a haze filter which has
a slight blue cast to it which is supposed to cut through haze. Basically it is a skylight
filter which just protects your lens. If you drop your lens you would rather break a $20
filter than a $300 lens. After that we have an intensifier filter. This actually enhances
the reds if you shoot like out in the desert or you shoot roses or something like that
you want to kind of give a little bit of vibrancy to your reds. This would be the filter for
you. It can bring a little bit of a pink tone to your neutral whites so you have to be real
careful about that. Another real common filter is a polarizing filter. Polarizing cuts down
on reflections off of any non-metallic surface. It will also darken skies, increase contrast
to your clouds, make your clouds whiter, skies darker, cut down the glare that the sun is
giving you off leaves and things like that and basically just gives you a lot more contrast
and richness to your photos. After that we have a neutral density filter. These come
in powers of 3,6,9. Each 3 stop increments or 3 number increments represent 1 stop. What
you use these for is if you want to do long exposures to blur your water out. You can
put these over your lens and it will decrease the amount of light that actually gets to
your film by the appropriate number of stops, depending upon the number on it. This particular
filter is a grade A neutral density. This is used to shoot out door scenes so you can
keep your sky looking correct and still exposed to your foreground if you are shooting a house.
If you have ever noticed that your house looks really wonderful and the sky will be really
bright, you can put this over your lens and kind of watch where the gradation goes and
it will darken your sky and leave your foreground just the way it is. We have one more which
is the fluorescent filter. If you shoot inside of office buildings or something like that,
the office fluorescents are horrible, it has a green cast to it, looks absolutely terrible.
This is a magenta filter. They make several different ones. Each fluorescent tube has
a little different tone to it but you can just go in and ask for a FL filter or fluorescent
filter and it will get you real close to neutral skin tones. That is all we have for today.
Thank you.

24 Replies to “Beginning Photography Tips & Techniques : Basic Camera Filters

  1. Thanks! i was trying to find the simplest explanation of what filters do and the differences. After searching Youtube, thankfully i came across this!

  2. good stuff man !! and dont listen to these comments about being boring ! if they are bored they can go watch tv !!!LOL

  3. Hate to tell you, but if you drop your lens, you're breaking the lens if you have a filter or not. A UV or skylight filter will protect your front element in some cases, but not against a drop.

  4. @fherz22, post precessing will ad virtual filter effects, but it really doesn't look the same. Better to learn how to use the filters right and get the actual effects.

  5. Quick question: I have a canon powershot SX20 IS (5-100mm) and i was wondering if i can use the 58mm filters (UV, fluores., polarizer) with this camera?

  6. @markuslowe9 Are you crazy? i learnt a lot from this and i need to learn because my knowledge of camera equipment is very basic!

  7. filters are a must for the professional, if you dont know how to use it, you can either buy and try or dont try it at all, if you cannot tell the difference do not even bother wasting your time, you are only making it worse, in the other hand if you want to learn, spend some times play with it, you will find the sweet spot and get better results, again it wont just happen in seconds.

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