Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Filters For B&W Photography
On-camera filters still give you the best results when shooting black-and-white
Labels: Gadget Bag
You may think that since your D-SLR has digital filters built in, you don’t need to attach glass filters in front of your lens. While it’s true that many cameras have this feature, digital filters simply don’t work the same way as a physical filter and, consequently, you won’t get the same results.
It’s easy to remember what filters do—they lighten their own color and darken their complement. So a red filter lightens reds and pinks while darkening greens and blues, for example. Yellow filters accentuate cloud structure by darkening the blue areas of the sky. Green filters lighten foliage and add ruddiness to reddish skin tones. Darker colors—dark yellow, for instance—produce stronger results than lighter colors. And if you really want to exaggerate the effect of any filter, underexpose the image slightly.
Because they absorb light, filters require increased exposure. Your camera’s automatic metering system should handle the compensation without a problem, but it’s something to be aware of. Another word of caution for those who regularly use the short zoom lens that came with their camera (typically in the 18-55mm range): Be aware of vignetting. If you buy a cheap filter that’s too thick, it can encroach on the extreme corners of your image and darken them. Imagine shooting through a peephole. Unless you like that effect, stick with the better brands, and if you use wide-angle lenses often, make sure you buy a filter that’s suitably thin.
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