what filters for wedding photography?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by esme_james, May 18, 2006.

  1. please can you tell me which ones you use, and ones you recommend.

    i am especially interested in learning about soft focus and 'warming' filters.

    which brands /types are best and if you could let me know how much they cost that would
    be great. thankyou
  2. Need a little more information. Are you shooting with film? What type of cameras?
  3. soft focus=i bought a #3 once. wayyy to much effect. i'd go w/ a #1. most people just use PS now. a star filter( or whatever their called) for the candle lit moments. most photographers bags are full enough already, and scince PS is an option......
  4. Soft focus--Zeiss Softar. There is nothing like it and no PS action duplicates the actual effect in camera. Close, but not the same. I use #2.

    Star filter if you like the starburst effect on candles and such. Not real popular now with PJ style.

    Warming filters unnecessary, either film or digital. With film, the lab can control color balance and with digital, you can.

    No polarizers unless you are shooting in extremely high glare situations--maybe. ND filters if you need to make your apertures wider outdoors (especially with fill flash).

    That's it. Almost everything else can be accomplished with PS.
  5. Forgot--the other popular filter in the olden days was a homemade one called a misty. This is where the center is sharp but the edges are soft. This is better done in PS now, where you can contol exactly where the mistiness happens.
  6. i had an extra uv filter, so i made a misty. used my wifes (not mine i swear) clear nail polish, leaving a clear circle in center. and nadine is right as usual, trying to use it for anything more than experimenting , ain't cool.
  7. thanks for your answers Nadine, I had just been wondering since I've gone digital if I would use my filters (which are barely used to begin with). I'll keep the star (popular or not, since I already have it) and not even sure on the softening but will consider getting. I guess even with film, all else can be done in ps?
  8. Tiffen has a number of soft focus filters. Easy way to make Grandma look a couple of years younger. If you can, put one soft filter on one lens and switch lenses when you have to use it....you usually don't have time to swap filters on and off at a wedding.
  9. Softar 1 --thats all I have used for 20 years--nothing really works like that one--not very cheap , however...but no subsitutions
  10. Softar #1 and #2. As stated, can't be duplicated in PS.

    I also use grads even with digital. Probably the most valuable but underused filter for
    digital or film.

    Neutral Density Grads are worth their weight in gold for outdoor work to bring the sky
    down and pop the clouds more ... especially true for digital with it's shorter tonal range. I
    also use a Tobacco grad or Sunset Grad with digital to do the same thing while adding a
    warm tone ... good for morning or afternoon shots.

    Lastly the often needed, rarely used Polarizer.
  11. I'll use a polarizer almost any time I am outdoors under a sunny sky.
    <img src="http://www.picturemichigan.com/jack/026.jpg">
    Filters like star or NDG or soft can be emulated in post. Certainly not perfectly.
    The NDG is replaced with PS. Add a Curves adjustment layer, then mask with the gradiant tool. Adjust the center point of the curve down and to the right, so it looks like a parabolic curve.
    Soft focus is very difficult to do in PS, but I'd rather have a sharp image first, then "fix it" in post. I do not do a simple duplicate layer with 20% opacity gausian blur. It takes two duplicate layers, blur each layer, one darken, one lighten, combine (merge) into one new layer, ditch the first two duplicates, then adjust to taste.
    The polarizer is the most difficult to emmulate in PS. Thus it's the only filter I use on the lens. I'm 99.9% digital (I don't want to OVER commit). :) And of course UVs.
  12. Love that photo Jon......Sharp!!!
  13. Thanks ... almost no post done to it. Many ask if I PSed the sky.
  14. Jon, have you noticed any ill effects on skin tone if the polarizer is used on an image where the people take up most of the frame? I notice your subject has her back turned.
  15. Can't add a PS Gradient after the fact to a sky and clouds that aren't there Jon. If you expose
    for a hot sky the foreground goes. Expose for the foreground and there can be little to no sky
    and clouds.

    ND Grads even out the latitude at the time of exposure, and unlike a Polarizer don't require
    that you be at a specific angle.
  16. True, if the highlights are blown. And there are definitely times when there is essentially no sky there, but not because of the photography. It just happens to be one of those typical hazy and humid days. The example below was a warm and hazy day last week. Perhaps it can be said that the polarizer I was using did help include a little more of the sky, but not enough. Sample A is the original image with only a curve adjustment (just to make it prettier). Sample B is the exact same image with the same curve adjustment, but with an additional Curve adjustment layer with a gradient mask. In the layer palette, you cannot see the graduation too well. Disadvantage to this method (and in my opinion, the NDG filter) is that anything protruding into the sky is darkened. Sample C, again, the exact as A, but instead of graduating with a straight line (like in B), color selection was used. The "additional" Curve adjustment layer to enhance the sky in both B and C are exactly the same. The mask is different. None of the examples are perfect; whether using an NDG, polarizer, or post production. For me, it's a personal preference. Nadine, I've seen no ill effect to skin tones from using a polarizer. Or at least none that I've noticed that could have otherwise been considered possible ill effect because of the digital variable.

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