What Is A Color Filter?
A color filter is, simply put, anything that alters the overall color of an image – just a method of filtering color. For photography, this can be done either physically through the use of a photographic filter that is placed over the lens, or added digitally during post-processing work. Each way to use a color filter has its own advantages and disadvantages, unique to the method.
Color filters are used to a variety of ends. The idea behind a color filter, after all, is just to increase the amount of control that a photographer has over a photo. Some physical color filters work to decrease excessive contrast in a photo, such as through use of a graduated filter. Some are used merely for color correction: think of the different color filters available on your digital camera software for the different lighting conditions, from outdoor sunny days to indoor tungsten lighting. Others work to enhance the existing colors, either by adding in or subtracting existing color. The number of photographic filters available, and the effects they can create, are innumerable, allowing a photographer to create exactly the effect they desire.
The emphasis of this article, however, is not on the different types of filters, but merely the different color effects they can create. Read on for some ideas on how to use color filters to work with the color and mood of your photograph.