As a landscape photographer, I find it both a convenience and an inconvenience to use filters. For example, using filters for balancing light in a scene, eliminates the need for bracketed shooting. This saves space on my memory card and on my hard drive. On the other hand, sometimes things happen so fast that mounting filters spoils the moment. There are also instances when using a filter to smooth the water in a waterfall will save me from blending exposures in Photoshop. On the negative side, adding filters to the backpack takes up space and adds weight.
Most of us neglect filters since they’re cheap and easily replaceable. However, investing in an affordable case for protection wouldn’t hurt as well. That’s especially if you own high-end filters that cost hundreds of dollars or more. In LensVid’s latest video, they review a cheap E-Bay case you might want to use for your next shoot.
Some might have you believe that neutral density and polarising filters aren’t required in today’s modern era of digital photography. That you can replicate their effects in post. No problem, just a couple of clicks, right?
Well, no. While many filters aren’t really required any more (unless you just want to save yourself some time in post), neutral density and polariser filters both offer effects that can’t be accurately recreated in post. In this video, Evan Ranft explains why and how each of these different filters work.
If you’re flying a drone and want professional photos and video you need a set of polarizing and neutral density filters.
I have been using a set of Polar Pro filters on my Mavic for some time now, so I thought I would spotlight why I use polarizing and neutral density filters on my drone and some thoughts on the Polar Pro filters that I use.
When I took on photography, there were a lot of filters to consider. ND, Haze, warming, cooling, grad-ND, polarizers. Heck, I had so many filters that sometimes they needed a little bag of their own inside my photography bag. Today though, most of the filters can be mimicked with photoshop.
Landscape photographer Mark Denney makes an interesting point, he shows three of the more common filters, ND, Grad-ND and a circular polarizer and while two of those filters can be replaced with photoshop-work. Mark asks a simple question, would you rather be spending your time editing in front on a computer, or hiking and shooting behind a camera.
Filters have largely gone the way of the dinosaur with digital photography. Lens filters, that is. The simple fact of the matter is that they’re just not needed now. We used to need a whole array of filters when we shot film. Solid colours to shift the contrast on black & white film. Variously coloured graduated filters to shift skies warmer. Now, you can do all that in post.
Colour shifts and gradients are pretty straightforward in Lightroom or Photoshop. But one filter that’s still essential is a circular polarising filter. It allows you to do things that are simply impossible in post, even with today’s digital technology. This video from photographer Christopher Frost explains why, with some practical examples.
Circular polarizing (CPL) filters are one of the most useful tools a landscape photographer can have in their toolkit, and in this video from landscape and nature photographer Joshua Cripps, you’re going to find out why.
Of course, they’re not limited to just landscapes, they can also help to cut through reflections and glare on glass and other reflective surfaces, so they can also be great for street, automotive and even portrait photography.