Photographic filters modify the light coming into your camera, thereby creating effects during image capture. Filters are used to increase contrast, change color balance, and compress the dynamic range of a scene. In traditional film photography,the use of filters was commonplace, as film offered limited color choices and modest dynamic range. If you were shooting slide film (transparencies), what you captured on the film was pretty much what you’d get. Even the masters of black and white photography often used filters to improve contrast in a scene.
Photographic filters can be made of glass or resin, and are attached to the front of your camera lens either by a screw-in (ring) mount, or via a filter holder (square/rectangular filters). No matter what kind of filter you use, when you put a filter in front of your lens, you’re adding another glass/air interface for light to pass through. Low-quality filters can potentially degrade image quality by reducing sharpness, creating unwanted color casts, or introducing reflections or other artifacts into your photos. Your camera lens is designed to precise optical specifications; don’t ruin an image by using a cheap filter!
Filters have long been a major photographic accessory, and one question I’m frequently asked is, “what filter should I buy?” A lot has changed in the last 20 years, and digital cameras are much more forgiving than their film ancestors. When you couple the extreme dynamic range of modern digital cameras with the ability to post-process RAW images, a lot of “go-to filters” are no longer needed for most digital photography. Let’s take a quick look at the primary kinds of filters you can get, and whether they should take up space in your bag.
Zap Dust Spots on Your Photos with Lightroom Classic CC
2019 is upon us, and so here’s my first tip of the new year: How to remove dust spots from photos using Adobe Lightroom. I’m using Lightroom Classic CC, and removing dust spots from photos is relatively easy. However, you may or may not know about some of the hidden features that Lightroom Classic CC has to make dust spot removal quick and easy.
In the video below, I’ll not only demonstrate how to remove dust spots using the healing brush tool in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, but I’ll also show you how to easily detect even faint dust specks with the spot visualizer tool. I’ll also show you a cool trick for methodically navigating your image when viewed at 100% so that you don’t miss any dust spots.
Instagram is a great social media platform for sharing photos, but it’s designed for mobile devices. In fact, there is no “upload” option when you view Instagram from your desktop browser. When you want to post a photo that you’ve edited on your desktop computer, it’s really annoying to have to transfer that photo to your phone simply to upload it to Instagram.
Fear not! With this easy trick, you can set your browser to fool Instagram into thinking your desktop web browser is really a mobile device. The trick involves a setting called “User Agent” which you’ll find hidden in the advanced Developer controls. Here’s how to do it:
When I find myself overwhelmed or just need a burst of creativity, I look no further than using a deliberate pan blur, or “swipe” to create an abstract photograph. The idea behind a swipe is to use a relatively long exposure and move the camera either up/down or left/right while dragging the shutter. I find that with the right subjects, I can create some pretty fun images!