Whether you're a travel photographer or you specialize in portraits, there are different filters for different clickers. I find that using filters helps your overall mood for your photos. From protective filters all the way to UV filters, I myself have problems identifying which is which. Going to the store is simple, but when you're waiting for help and not knowing how to ask the questions about filters, that's a whole different story. Here's a quick guide on different filters and how they work.
Have you ever worn sunglasses? Well, they work the same way as filters for your camera. Filters can make or break your images. We all know that sunglasses distort your vision indoors; filters can degrade image quality just as they can improve it. But knowing your filters can definitely help when you're in the field with limited time.
I highly recommend getting a protective filter for your lens. This filter protects you from all sorts of dust, dirt, fingerprints, and moisture. It can also save your lens from any scratches that might occur.
Even though ultraviolet (UV) filters can interfere with photo quality, it's safe to say that this filter really helps neutralize colors on your photo. This can also be used as a form of protection from glare and unnecessary reflections.
This filter can help reduce reflections, increase contrast, and enhance colors. There're two types of filters available: the first is a "linear filter", traditionally used for non-SLR cameras, the second is called a "circular filter," which is used for SLR cameras. Depending on which one you prefer, this filter can definitely enhance your photos.
This filter is used to balance exposure in high-contrast situations. Photographing bright skies and dark landscapes, this filter can definitely help balance the two. It helped when I photographed that horizon out in the desert.
One of my favorite things to photograph are layered mountains. It is such a fascinating image to capture. That's why this soft-edge graduated neutral density filter (GND) can definitely help your layered mountains shots. This is used in high-contrast situations where the landscape is not entirely flat. It avoids over and underexposure while making the use of a filter less evident.
If you love to photograph the sunset, this is just the filter for you. This filter transitions from a dark center to a lighter edge. This definitely allows you to photograph the sun or against it. It captures the image as it appears in person without overexposing your whole image.
Loving colors and everything about them is a photographer's top priority. This filter has color-correcting, subtracting, blocking, and boosting properties. It's perfect for film photographers wanting to correct or add color to an image.
Do you love that warm effect? Cooling and warming filters are great for correcting unrealistic tints of color, or they can even add that golden tint. They definitely change the mood and atmosphere of your image by altering the white balance.
Black and white lovers can definitely maximize their images with this filter. There are different ways to enhance black and white images. This filter can do just that by enhancing your reds, oranges, greens, and yellows to brings out certain monochromatic shades in them.
These are just some of the filters that are on the market today. Of course, there's always post production to enhance your photos. Filters such as UV or polarizing are very hard to emulate in post production. Others like black and white or color-tinting can be easily applied in post production, unless you're using film cameras. You can also check out Patrick Hall's "Color Casts, Vignetting, and Sharpness: Which Neutral Density Filter is Best?" video. Which filters do you love? Tell us in the comments below.