5 Use fil­ters to en­hance drama

Digital Photo (UK) - - MONO SPECIAL -

Make the most of mono scenes with fil­ters to mod­ify the light en­ter­ing the lens. A Po­lar­is­ing fil­ter screws into the thread on the front of your lens and will boost blue skies and en­hance cloud de­tail, while cut­ting back on re­flec­tions from wa­ter or glass. These fil­ters are a fantastic way to pack fur­ther punch into your shots, and prices for po­laris­ers start at around £30.

You can also se­verely re­strict the amount of light en­ter­ing your cam­era with a Neu­tral Den­sity fil­ter (ND), which will al­low you to shoot with a much longer shut­ter speed. They’re avail­able in a num­ber of strengths – or ‘stops’ – and prices start at around £35 for a 77mm thread fit. A ‘big stop­per’ re­duces the light by 10 stops, al­low­ing for ul­tra-long ex­po­sures, but costs a lit­tle more with prices start­ing at around £65.

Shoot­ing with a longer shut­ter speed means you can blur move­ment, so pedes­tri­ans can be ren­dered invisible, the sea trans­formed into a misty blur and clouds turned to artis­tic streaks. These type of ef­fects work par­tic­u­larly well in black & white and pro­duce truly eye-catch­ing and dra­matic im­ages, so a fil­ter is a worth­while in­vest­ment.

Fil­ters can help bal­ance the ex­po­sure in an im­age.

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