What The Funk Are Filters?


In the days of film photography, filters were used for all sorts of creative purposes.  Today they’re used mostly for technical reasons.  Here’s a quick overview...


UV Filters


These just protect your lens from scratches.  In the past they were used to protect film from sun damage.


Polarizing Filters


These are essential for landscape photographers.  They make the skies darker, plants greener, etc.  A polarizing filter can transform images from dull to vibrant.


Neutral Density (ND) Filters


An ND filter makes the image darker, allowing for a slower shutter speed.  They are perfect for shooting waterfalls in daylight.  They allow the shooter to get the silky water effect while keeping the rest of the scene properly exposed.  

These are the main types of filters that photographers use.  Others include: warming/cooling filters, color filters, and special effect filters.  Depending on area of expertise, other types of filters may or may not be useful.  I only use the three types mentioned above.  

Download some of these photos for free on Unsplash.

Check out my Lightroom filters, portfolio critique service, and other services.

Here are my product recommendations for people looking to get into photography: BudgetMid-Range, and Baller.


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