We have a number of filters you can use, but, as a starter you should get familiar with the "starter kit" from Formatt. There are 5 filters in the kit, and here's what they do (or, go here):
The 77mm 5-Filter Starter Kit from Formatt contains a wide variety of filters that will help you create anything from a great landscape to a winning portrait.
Neutral Density 0.6 labeled ND 0.6 STD
A neutral density filter has several uses and offers the possibility to achieve otherwise unachievable results. It enables the shooter to adjust exposure without affecting color balance. ND filters appear gray and reduce the amount of light reaching the either the sensor of a digital camera or the film plane of a traditional film camera. Neutral Density filters are used to create some unusual special effects such as capturing the "blur" of the rippling water of a waterfall or the swirling effect of city traffic.
Graduated Neutral Density 0.6 (Soft Edge) labeled ND 0.6 GRAD SE
This filter has several uses and offers the possibility to achieve otherwise unachievable results. It enables the shooter to adjust exposure without affecting color balance. A Graduated ND filter appears gray and reduces the amount of light reaching either the sensor of a digital camera or the film plane of a traditional film camera. It is clear at the bottom with a gradual transition to darker gray at the top. Primarily, this filter is used to control exposure when shooting bright landscapes where your horizon line displays a great exposure difference between sky and foreground and you need to balance them out for a pleasing exposure.
A Graduated Neutral Density filter is also used to create some unusual special effects such as capturing the "blur" of the rippling water of a waterfall or the swirling effect of city traffic. Since it allows the use of slower shutter speeds in bright light, it becomes possible to create these special effects that would normally not be possible to capture without the filter. And since it can also help to control your depth of field, it permits you to shoot at wider apertures. Ultimately, its value is in helping to prevent bright, overly washed out images shot in bright light. Soft/Hard designation indicates the degree of transition of the filter. Soft edge grads have a smooth transition from clear to ND. Hard edge grads have a more defined hard lined transition and should be used for longer lenses.
Circular Polarizer Filter labeled CIRCULAR POLARISER
This filter is the most reliable way to make a blue sky bluer, enhance cloud formations or eliminate reflections from glass or water. By rotating the filter ring, you can increase or decrease the color saturation of the sky. When used in combination with other filters such as a Red 25, you can simulate the approach of a threatening storm.
Light rays which are reflected become polarized. Polarizing filters are used to select which light rays enter your camera lens. They can remove unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces such as water or glass and also saturate colors providing better contrast. The effect can be seen through the viewfinder and changed by rotating the filter. The filter factor varies according to how the filter is rotated and its orientation to the sun. Generally, the filter works to maximum effect at a 90 degree angle to the sun.
Skin Tone Enhancer Filter labeled STE
This filter is designed to improve skin tones on portrait subjects. It's also perfect for shooting outdoors when sunlight is clouded over and gray. This enhancer is especially useful for the digital and video market where subject appearance is critical.
By using this filter, your subject feels that he/she is looking their best, so your interview or presentation will come off at its best. The Skin Tone Enhancer is available is different grades which allow you to select the most flattering 'shade' for your subject.
Additionally, this filter is very effective for foliage, earth tones, or anything that seems 'too blue' in open shade. Portraits done outside on gray days take on a 'pasty' nature which does not necessarily compliment subjects. Adding a degree of warmth brings skin and other tones back to a normal look.
Full Frame Low Contrast 1 Filter labeled FULL FRAME 1
This is a valuable tool to have when you are shooting under very bright light i.e. mid-day, beach, etc. With the explosion of HD technology, using this filter will help when shooting on location (or studio) when a more balanced tone to the image is desired.
This filter distributes the ambient light all over the image area yielding a more even appearance. Shadows will be opened revealing more detail. However, the real benefit is that the highlights will not display any flair or halation.
Formatt square and rectangular filters are made from sheets of CR39 Resin sandwiched between two sheets of high-quality Schott glass. The reputation of Schott glass precedes itself and is world renowned. The dyes used are carefully manufactured and controlled and when sealed between the glass, become color consistent filter to filter. For the photographer/videographer/cinematographer, this means you can change filters from day to day or shot to shot knowing that your color consistency will be maintained.
Neutral Density Filters Have Four Main Uses
To enable slow shutter speeds to be used, especially with high speed ISOs, to record movement in subjects such as waterfalls, clouds, or cars
To decrease depth of field by allowing wider apertures to be used, which helps separate subjects from their background
To decrease the effective ISO of high speed film (above ISO 400) and allow it to be used outdoors in bright situation
To allow cine and video cameras (which have fixed shutter speeds) to film subjects such as snow, sand or other bright scenes which could cause overexposure
This filter eliminates ultraviolet rays from outdoor shots as well as polarizing the light to remove reflections, and increase color saturation, without affecting the overall color balance
Can dramatically enhance a blue sky and make the clouds more prominent
Used best at right angle to the sun
Effective with cameras that use beam splitters in the path of the TTL light meter and with AF cameras
Skin Tone Enhancer
Adds warmth to skin tones
Absorbs bluish cast from various light sources
Warmer alternative than a UV filter
Excellent for video and digital portrait work
Can be used with other filters such as graduated filters
Full Frame Low Contrast
Reduces contrast by evening out the ambient light in the frame
Excellent when shooting under very bright light
Using this filter will allow more detail to be revealed - opens shadows
Spreads ambient light evenly
Software tutorials of interest.
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The master of disaster!
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