Has post processing made lens filters obsolete?

Baja, Coloradito, invertebrate, Janolus barbarensis, Mexico, nudibranch, tidepool

Polarizing filter used to cut the reflections on the surface of the water

If you have ever shot film you know that to obtain specific results needed the use of a filter on your lens.  If you were shooting black and white film different colored filters could be used to increase the contrast by blocking certain colors of light.  When shooting color film it was common to use a warming filter to change the tone of an image.  Other common filters included polarizers, graduated and neutral density filters.

In today’s digital world the use of filters on camera is not as common.  Most people possibly feel they can just apply the effect during post-processing and in many cases you can but not in all cases.  For example, the effects produced by using a polarizing filter can not be easily duplicated in post.  Nor can you slow the motion of moving objects to create the silky look frequently seen in waterfall photos, that is something you have to do in camera and most likely with the help of a neutral density filter.

I had the opportunity to review a new video course created by the awesome landscape photographers Jay and Varina Patel.  Their website which is called Visual Wilderness, offers readers a variety photography education tools including informative blog posts, ebooks, some of which are free, and their continually expanding video series The Ultimate Collection.  Their latest addition is Essential Filters and it focuses on 4 different filters any landscape photographer should have, UV, circular polarizer, neutral density and graduated neutral density.    The video course is made up of 7 chapters and 8 case studies.  The video segments are short enough that you can fit them into a busy schedule or sit down and devote more time going through them all at once.  The case studies show in the field use of each type of filter and explain the when and why to use them.  So if you are looking to improve your photos take a look at what Jay and Varina have to offer over at Visual Wilderness.

filters video course



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