What is a filter? How to use Filter in photography?

In photography, Filter means glass filters used in many different situations, such as taking photos of low-light natural conditions, or enhancing colors, ...

If you are a photographer, it may not be strange to hear the term Filter. Filter also known as camera glass filter. With Filter, we can use for many different purposes to serve the photography process. So why use Filter and use them under any circumstances.

1. Use Filter in photography:

When taking photos, your camera is like your eyes. When it's too bright, you'll need a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. Similarly, when you take photos, you also need a support filter to protect your eyes. When shooting landscapes during the day, due to limited dynamic range, it would be difficult for the machine to obtain the information of the two regions and the sky with too large light differences. A filter is a great tool for you to easily take photos without the help of Photoshop.

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However, filters can damage images if they are not used properly. For example, you wear sunglasses in a dark room. Therefore, you need to know the effect of each type of filter and have a choice in each situation. There are different types of filters, from cheap UV filters to filters that cost a few hundred dollars.

2. What types of filters are there and how to use them?

There are 9 types of filters : UV, Polarized, ND, GND, Reverse Graduated, Color, Close up and types of filters to create effects. Each filter type has a different specific use and proper usage. There are types made from high quality glass, polycarbonate or polyester.

UV or Haze Filter is used to protect your front lens from dirt, scratch or moisture. They are all made of clear glass, many photographers always use for their lenses.

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Polarizing filters work to increase contrast or color while helping to avoid light reflection. When using polarizing filters, the sky will be greener depending on the level when you rotate the filter to create an effect. Normally polarizing filters will reduce light by 2 steps.

ND filter helps reduce the amount of light entering the sensor for longer exposure than usual. This is extremely useful when you want to smooth waterfalls, sea surfaces or capture moving clouds in the sky.

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Similar to ND Filter, GND filter is divided into 2 parts, a darker part and a brighter part for you to capture scenes with large difference in brightness such as sky and ground but still get full details only with a picture.

Next is the Reveser GND filter. This is the same type of filter as GND but at the bottom edge is almost part of the clear glass, the middle part is a bit darker and the upper part is completely dark. This type of filter is often used when you shoot the sky with high light intensity. You can catch it at sea at dusk or very well used sunrise.

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The close up filter works to allow you to focus closer to the ioongs of macro lenses. However, the quality will definitely not be equal.

Filters create effects such as star-shaped bokeh, hearts, and light trails that can be used to make the photo more interesting.

3. How to use Filter?

You can use independent filters but you can also combine multiple filters at the same time. There is an accessory that helps you combine the filters together. When needed, you can pair 3 ND, GND and other filters if needed.

When you first buy a filter, you'll probably want to buy a poor quality filter, which is a waste of your time and money. Poor quality filters will make your image quality significantly reduced. So make a reasonable investment.

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The filters you use will depend on how many bright steps you need to reduce, or which areas to light up or which areas to lighten. To be sure, you should switch to take photos in RAW format and try taking a few shots when there is no filter and see histogram chart to choose accordingly. Many people always use their filters, which is not wrong, but it makes you much more time consuming.

When taking a waterfall, always carry the GND filter, because just exposing it for longer than 1 second, you can see that the image is completely different.

Refer to the following articles:

  1. The meaning of the symbol on the camera lens you need to know
  1. 9 basic rules of composition in photography

  1. 10 simple photography techniques for impressive photos

Hope this article is useful to you!