Filters for Dummies

This is a discussion on Filters for Dummies within the Filters forums, part of the Photography Tips category; Hello all, newbie here with a typical newbie question. I have recently entered the world of proper photography having purchased my first dSLR and although ...


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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Sheffield, England
    Posts
    1
    PHOTO EDITING OK
    Hello all, newbie here with a typical newbie question.

    I have recently entered the world of proper photography having purchased my first dSLR and although I am very impressed with the results, which are worlds apart from what I used to take with my digital compact, I feel I am still not achieving the clarity and richness that I see others achieving when I look through sites like this. I know I am only using the stock lens so I can't expect miracles, but from what I can gather I can improve my results through the use of filters. Unfortunately that is all I know about filters, so can anyone recommend what type of filters to use in typical circumstances?

    I am very fond of portrait work, indoor & out, animal & human, so anything that can enhance skin tones and reduce background interference would be nice. I also appreciate using perspective, like looking down a long railing or wall, not sure if a filter could help with that really? I also enjoy outdoor scenery photos, but living in England my enemy is cloudy skies, so even in July/August I am getting white skies, so any filters that would help there would also be nice.

    I guess I'm looking for a beginners guide to filters and what I should get to start me out, and general advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    James


  • #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Jersey, Great Britain.
    Posts
    330
    PHOTO EDITING NOT OK
    The only filters I find are of any real use are neutral density filters, and polarisers.

    Quality lenses are already coated with various magical substances, and putting a cheap UV filter on the end will degrade image quality, for example by causing internal reflections.

    Filters which enhance skin tones are old school now, these things can be done when you edit the photo.

    The best portraits are created by either finding some nice natural light, or by manipulating light, by using flashes, etc.

    If you want to reduce the effect of clutter in the background, use a wide aperture setting and/or long focal length, which will put the background in soft focus.
    My photo blog
    I use a Canon EOS 40D + various lenses.


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