For a landscape photographer, filters to photography are like what adjectives are to writing. The right type of filter when added, even to the dullest of the images, has a large and real effect on your image. As you learn more about photography, you familiarize with the concept of editing and adding artificial filters and manipulations required to make image look fresh and natural. You may have the most expensive lenses, but the selection of the proper filter is actually far more important than any choice of lens or camera. There are mainly only 3 filters that professional landscape photographers recommend – polarisers, graduated NDs, and warming filters.
- POLARISING FILTERS
If you are to take your landscape photography to a professional stage, a polarizing filter is a must-have tool for landscape photography. Polarising filters increase saturation giving richer, adding a more vibrant color to the photograph. This type of filter is responsible for the deeper skies, with the clouds that really standout in the pictures. It’ll boost the natural colours and reduce reflections and glares from water and foliage.
- GRADUATED NEUTRAL DENSITY (ND) FILTERS
While light is the most important element in your photograph, sometimes excess light can ruin the picture’s delicate sensibilities. A neutral density filter doesn’t affect the colours in your picture; its only purpose is to reduce the amount of light reaching your camera’s sensor. These filters are used to balance the exposures levels when you have a front that is much darker than the sky, a very common happening while taking landscape shots during the early and late “golden hours” around sunrise and sunset.
- WARMING FILTERS
Whenever you shoot in shade, at dusk, or under overcast skies (usually during the monsoon), the camera film will record tones with a slightly bluish taint.These images with are called “low key”. A warming filter gives your scene a slight orange tint, helping to reduce the cold, blue cast and breathe some life back into your image, adding a subtl tone to the dark picture.
Filters can vastly improve an image, and in some cases save images that might otherwise be too flat, with too much contrast, too blue, or too warm for your taste. Use a combination of the above filters, and come up with new techniques to make your images look ravishing. Let’s capture the beautiful pieces of nature as they are!