Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Graduated filters

click photo to enlarge
During my rummaging in my photographic equipment (see yesterday's post) I came across a collection of filters that I no longer use much. There were various Hoya skylight filters that had been bought to protect lenses with filter sizes that I no longer own; red, orange, yellow and green filters for black and white work; a couple of polarizing filters, one of which gets occasional use; and a Cokin filter holder with a few adapters so that it can be used on a variety of lenses. To complement this there were several square, plastic filters to fit in it. These included neutral density and graduated filters, and must date from about twenty five years ago. Maybe it's time to move them on!

When I was photographing a semi-abstract that involved angles the blue/orange graduated filter came to mind, and, though it felt like stepping into my photographic past, I fitted it to the lens for a couple of shots. It nearly did what I wanted, but, rotate the holder as I might, I couldn't distribute the colours in what I considered to be the best way. Consequently I processed my shot using a digital equivalent of a blue/orange graduated filter and got precisely the effect I desired. And perhaps that's why my collection of filters has languished, largely unused, since I started using a digital camera. The requirement for filters remains, but their implementation can be done much more conveniently and effectively using a computer. I'm aware that there are those who would strongly disagree with this statement, but as someone who used glass (and plastic) filters regularly (though not heavily) for many years, I know which I prefer.

Today's image shows the filtered shot I took. It's a composition that is based on a stack of glass placemats, each of which has a built-in pocket for a photograph, making them customisable. They were bought for me as a present. Now there's an idea for Christmas for the photographer in your life!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35 macro (70mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/50
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On