Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Going Deeper 3:3-1 Filters

Filters to Improve your Lighting:

Many light sources and color temperatures can be used when shooting. This is why photographers use several filters that help to change the light for the best possible results.

Filters are usually used on the camera itself so that the results can be monitored during production.  However, filtering light fixtures can also result in improved quality of your images.

Color Filters:  There are times when the light conditions cannot be changed.  For example, the blue color of sunlight is strong when shooting outdoors at noon. You can add a warming filter (usually a #81 or #85 filter) that will decrease the blue and bring up the yellow tones.  If you are shooting indoors with orange incandescent lighting, you can make the image more balanced by adding a blue cooling filter (usually a #80 or #82).  The key is to remember that you warm the image by adding a yellow filter, and cool the image by adding a blue filter.

Ultra-violet (UV) filter:  At times, a camera will not be able to see through things like smoke or dust and will produce a cloudy image.  Ultraviolet filters help remove the haze and allow natural colors to appear richer and less cloudy.  Sometimes referred to as Skylight filters, they help to improve the color of skin tones on bright days.  

Polarizing filters:  Similar to a UV filter, a polarizing filter helps to control the direction of the light rays entering the camera.  This helps decrease the amount of light glare or reflection that is bouncing around the scene.  Often designed to rotate around the lens, polarizing filters can be turned for the best results based on the camera’s position. 

Neutral density filter:  One of the most common filters to use in scenes with bright sunlight is a neutral density filter.  This filter cuts down the total amount of light coming into the camera.  However, more light improves the exposure options of the camera.

Special Effects filters:  Though many filters change the luminance or chrominance of an image, some can create optical effects at the camera.  All of these special effects can be seen more clearly as the light level increases. 

– Star filters create a streaking or star effect when pointed at bright lights. 

Diffusion filters blur the edgesin the images, especially when there is strong backlighting on the scene

Vignette filters make the outer edges of the frame appear to be blurry or out of focus

Here is one final reminder about filters and other special effects.  Once you record video using a color corrected light, filters, or special effects, there is no way to remove those effects.  Many of today’s editing programs allow you to add special effects during the editing process.  So make sure you’re happy with the effects before shooting an entire scene as they may not be removable later. 

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