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Essential Filters: the Basic Three

I don't use a lot of filters these days. Personally, my aim is to be there when the light is right and the colors are natural rather than trying make up the difference with a lot of filters. In my younger days, I used to try to use filters in a variety of colors and effects to get good photos. But you know what? It never really works.

These days, I carry only three types of filters in my camera bag: a variety of graduated neutral density filters from Singh-Ray designed to fit the Cokin "P" holder (as well as regular neutral density filters), polarizers and warming filters in different sizes to for all my lenses. Over the next three weeks, I'll offer some tips on how to use each of these.

Last night, I hiked up to Skyline Divide on the north side of Mt. Baker for sunset. The wildflowers are still in bloom and the sky was clear, making for great shots of the mountain in all its colorful glory. I carried my dinner with me, so when I got there, I could relax and eat before the show began. The only real trick to doing something like this is getting back to the car once the sun has set. For this, my trusty Petzl Tikka head light came in very handy.

If anyone wants them, I have a whole stack of outlandish screw-on and Cokin filters just gathering dust on a shelf. Heaven knows I'm not getting any use out of them anymore.

Update: Some of my unused filters have been sold already. The rest are available for sale and will probably find their way to eBay shortly. My thanks to those readers who have expressed an interest in them.

Date posted: August 25, 2002 (updated June 22, 2003)


Copyright © 2002, 2003 Bob Johnson, Earthbound Light - all rights reserved.
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Why I Don't Like Sunset Filters

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