Filters – Some Reasons To Love Them

Filter making is a craft

Over the years it is possible to collect a lot of filters. They are sometimes a necessary item in the kit bag an sometimes something to be bought out for a particular shot. However, every time I buy one I wonder why they are so expensive. After all they are only a bit of coloured plastic in a frame – aren’t they? Not so! This video shows you how they are made and what goes into making them.

Despite all the modern technology in up to date photography, filters are still hand crafted. Each one may take several days to make, including the ‘cooking’ phase. It is a surprisingly hands-on process involving a number of quite technical steps. When you consider how much goes into making these things it is not surprising there is a heavy price attached. Yet a good quality filter is worth its weight in gold when getting the right shot. Since seeing this video I will not feel so bad about handing over my money next time… and I learned a lot about filters. More on filters after the video. Enjoy!

But… Are they really necessary?

Here are some reasons to love filters…

  • They create great light in-camera saving post processing
  • Some can do things that cannot be done in processing
  • They protect your expensive lens
  • They can create effects that are unique to the scene

The fact that filters can do things in-camera that cannot be done in processing is excellent. For example, a polarising filter gives a blue hue to the sky that is difficult to produce in post-processing. It is also closer to the sky colour we actually see rather than the washed out colour most photos create. Some filters are also great for reducing glare and reflections, making shots through liquid and glass easier. There are a wide range of other effects that they can create too. More on that in another article.

Filters can be expensive but I know they are not a rip-off – they are the result of a time consuming craft process. There are some very good reasons to know more about them. If you would like to know more about filters here are four great books on the subject…

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

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