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Black & White

Using color filters in black and white photography lets you control how colors are converted to shades of grey, giving you greater creative control over the final result. Oftentimes, black and white photos are either flat and lifeless or have too much contrast ruining the image. Color filters create depth and separation in the blackest black as well as whitest white while clearly defining the shades of grey in between.

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A color intensifier filter neutralizes the yellow/amber colors created by light pollution from city lights and moonlight. With the increase in popularity of astrophotography, the intensifier has become the most important filter a night photographer can carry. The intensifier is a difference maker between good night photos and great night photos. Color varieties pop more when you use an intensifier and completely removes that “muddy” look that comes from night pollution.

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Secrets to Success

What do you want to accomplish with your photography business? Hoya ambassador Heather Long provides the insights to five techniques that could potentially help you achieve success in your landscape photography future.

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Ultraviolet (UV)

Ultraviolet (UV) filters are often only thought of as “the protector” filter.   Photographers often take for granted that UV filters are more than a protector.  UV filters remove that ugly sun haze that make your photos look muddy.  They are especially important when shooting in high altitude climates where the chance of hazy light increases dramatically. If you want to capture that awesome summit photo after a long hike, you’d better have a UV filter on your lens to make it as awesome as you remember.

UV filters also maintain the sharpness and clarity of the original lens without adding color to the image and of course, protect your lenses from scratches, dust and weather.


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Circular Polarizer

Circular Polarizing (CPL) filters are the most important filter a photographer can carry. CPL filters give you the freedom to create in-camera effects that can’t be replicated in Photoshop or Lightroom.

The CPL filter removes unwanted reflections from glass, water and pollution in the atmosphere. The CPL rotates on the front of the lens allowing you to choose just the effect you want.  Results include bluer skies, greener leaves, reduced or eliminated reflections and improved sharpness and clarity in the final image.

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Neutral Density

Neutral density (ND) filters have been gaining in popularity in recent years and are essential in shooting landscape photography.  ND filters reduce the light entering your camera lens without having any other effect on the image.  Reducing the amount of light in the camera allows you to use wider apertures or slower shutter speeds depending on the end result you want. ND filters give you the creativity to create dramatic effects in bright light conditions.  Density’s vary from 2 stop to 10 stop depending on the subject and the desired effect you want.


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A color intensifier filter is not just for fall color anymore. With the increase in popularity of astrophotography, the intensifier has become a difference maker between good night shots and great night shots.

The intensifier completely neutralizes the yellow/amber tint created by light pollution in heavily populated areas or nights when the moon is present in the sky. It also enhances color variety in a night sky, especially when it comes to the blue, read and orange nebula.  Night images shot with the intensifier give your photos better contrast, color pop and sharpness.

The color intensifier is the most important filter an astrophotographer can carry.

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Looking to get super creative with your photography?  Infared Filters can help you take your landscape and scenic photography from ordinary to fantastic.

Most people associate them with the wildly strange and eerie effects in leaves, foliage, grass and even skin (when done right).

Anything alive reflects a greater amount of infared light and appears whitest white in a photo shot with an infared filter.  The tonality of a photo shot with an infared filter is very different from a black and white photo.  White’s appear dreamy and the best photos are those with contrasting elements: dark and light objects and smooth and textured objects.  Shooting in bright sunshine will give you the best results too.  Bright sunshine in summer when there is lots of foliage and texture will yeild the most dramatic and creative results.  You also need a tripod to compose your image to ensure that it is super sharp.

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Black & White

Using color filters in black and white photography lets you control how colors are converted to shades of grey, giving you greater creative control over the final result. Black and white photography can be tricky  because colors look very similar when converted to grayscale.  Without filters, they lack contrast and seem flat and lifeless.

Black and white filters also help you create mood in your photographs. You can ensure that objects are well separated and clearly defined creating drama in your photographs, separating your work from others.


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Close-Up (Macro)

Macro photography can be very cool and creative, but a macro lens can also be a kind of pricey.  There’s a way to take macro “looking” photos without the sticker price of a macro lens: close-up filters.  You can create some exciting close-up images of flowers, portraits and details.  Close-up filters allow you to get close enough to create dramatic images, but not so close that you ruin your depth-of-field.

Close-up filters work better on telephoto lenses than shorter focal lengths because the longer the focal length, the more magnification you gain. Close-up filters work best in portrait work where you want to capture a mood, flowers that have wonderfully delicate detail and food photography where you want to show all the elements that make up the dish.



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Star Filters

Star filters can produce some cool effects, especially when shooting lights whether it’s street lights, city lights or a simple string of lights. Star filters add sparkle to your photos.  Most people think of holiday effects, but there are other applications for star filters that create a dramatic sparkle effect. For example, sun reflecting off water can look like diamonds.  Dew drops, snow and ice are all enhanced when shot with a star filter.

Star filters come in a variety of points: 4, 6, 8, etc.  The more points the filter has the stronger the sparkle. When used correctly star filters create unique and beautiful images.

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