8 Improper Uses of Photography Filters

After shooting for a period of time, students will often use different filters, such as polarizers, gradient gray, etc. But sometimes because of the first contact, I don’t know much about the usage and characteristics of various filters. Some mistakes will be made, which will make the result of shooting unsatisfactory. Or something weird happens. Here are 8 wrong usages of filters, don’t make them again after you learn them!

Photo from deviantart.net

(1) Gradient Gray Filter: Incorrect Gradient Position
Gradient gray filters are gradients from dark to transparent, allowing you to balance light differences (such as taking photos of the sky during the day). When you use a gradient gray filter, remember to always check the gradient position. Especially when you change the angle or zoom in/out, otherwise the light and dark levels of the photo will look weird.

It is recommended to use the glass gradient gray filter of FGEARS in the United States, which is one of the best filters on the market! Available at GearSuggest®, the official Fotobeginner store.

GND Filter

(2) Gradient gray filter: the gradient is too obvious
There are two main types of gradient gray filters, “Hard” and “Soft”. You can choose different types at different times. Hard is mainly used when shooting coastal sunrises and sunsets. And Soft will be used in general. However, when using the two filters, you must also pay attention to whether the gradient will be too obvious. So please use the appropriate degree and variety of filters. Don’t blindly pursue high-level filters or use too many blocks together.

(3) Polarizer: used in (ultra) wide-angle lens
Polarizers are useful in landscape photography. It can not only eliminate the reflection on the water surface and green leaves, but also make the blue sky bluer. But be careful, the blue sky must be in the other direction of the sun, otherwise it will not have an effect. Therefore, if you use a wide-angle lens (especially a wider ultra-wide-angle lens), the shooting range will have the opportunity to extend from one side of the sun to the other side, resulting in a dark blue at one end of the photo and white at the other end (due to sunlight). There is a chance that the effect will be worse than not using CPL!

CPL Filter

(4) Polarizer: do not reset after changing the direction
Polarizers need to be adjusted before shooting. If you shoot from horizontal to straight, you must re-adjust the polarizer to get the effect, be sure to pay attention!

(5) Adjustable ND filter: black cross appears
Now many manufacturers have also launched “Variable ND Filters”. The advantage is that the degree of dimming can be adjusted at will according to the environment and needs, avoiding the trouble of carrying multiple ND dimming filters. But if you adjust too much, the photo will have unsightly black crossovers, which can be solved by being careful not to overshoot the adjustable range.

可調式 ND Filter 過份調整可能會出現黑色交叉。

(6) Do not keep the filter clean
Most of the filters are installed in front of the lens and have a direct impact on imaging. If your filter is full of greasy dirt or dust, it may cause problems such as unsharp photos or dust spots. So remember not to ignore the cleaning filter!

(7) Use of poor quality filters
Many novices are also greedy to buy low-quality filters to use. In fact, a good filter can be used for many years, taking thousands of photos for you. Poor quality filters are mostly unsatisfactory in terms of workmanship, light transmittance or coating color. It makes the photo prone to color cast and sharpness drop. And cleaning is mostly not easy due to the lack of an effective coating. Therefore, it is recommended that students start with a better filter if they have enough budget!

(8) Using the wrong size
Whether it is a round or square filter, we also need to use it with different lens sizes. If the filter is too small it may not cover enough. Filters that are too thick also have a chance of black corners when using a wide-angle lens. You should pay more attention before purchasing.

Canon 50mm f/1.4