CHOOSING YOUR FILTERS
WE EXPLAIN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FILTER TYPES TO MAKE YOUR CHOICE SIMPLE
WITH THE INCEPTION of digital, many photographers thought optical filters might go the way of film and be replaced with a digital equivalent, but whilst some positive effects from filters can be replicated in post- production, there’s no substitute for the real thing. Consequently, since filters are still a key part of a landscape photographer's arsenal, there's no shortage of options for you to choose from – with different types and styles to suit all budgets, image styles and preference of approach.
So where should you start? First up, you need a circular polariser ( turn to p62 for details). This filter alone cuts through glare on the surface of water and foliage, saturates colours and deepens blue skies. It's also dense enough to extend your exposure times by up to two stops for creative effect.
Next should be a 0.3 and 0.6ND grad ( p64), which used individually or together will help ensure detail in the sky is captured in even the most extreme lighting. But if silky water surfaces and wispy waterfalls are your goal, you'll want standard or extreme ND filters ( p66), some of which are capable of extending exposures up to 20 stops!
You also need to decide on the best system to suit your budget and working practice, whether it's screw- in or slot- in filters, and finally a brand. Cokin, Tiffen, B+ W, Lee Filters, Heliopan, Hitech, Hoya and Mirumi are among the most highly regarded brands. Some, such as Tiffen, Mirumi and Hoya, primarily offer screw- in filters while Cokin, Hitech and Lee Filters are known for their brilliant slot- in systems. The choice of which to go for is yours…