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Special Effects Using Camera Filters

Aug 20, 2008
A glance through almost any magazine will display a flood of picture ads. For the most part, the special effects you see in these ads are created either through photo editing software or cameras fitted with special types of filters.

Many types of filters are available, each having a unique and specific function. For example, there are different filters for black and white, others for color photos, and some that are used for both. Additionally, there are also filters that enhance contrast while others improve the picture sharpness.

Below are brief descriptions of various filters and the effects they produce on pictures.

Cross and Star Effect Filters

Star effect flares are available in different points like star-eight and star-six. These flares are used for increasing image brightness and enhancing more difficult photos of theme parks, sun reflecting from glass surfaces, and street lights.

Like star filters, a cross filter is best for situations in which the person in the picture is wearing jewelry. It generates more dramatic effects to anything bright worn by the person.

Spectral cross filters are normally used in portraits and outdoor shots. They produce cross effects and soft-focus effects. These filters consist of two transparent optical glasses which are arranged in a rotating frame. A gauze-like black fiber is positioned between the two transparent glasses.

Made up of two glasses, Vario cross filters generate a special effect of four light rays emerging from a single point source of light. You can easily rotate each glass individually to change the angle of emerging rays of light.

Close-up Filters

This filter is better than a zoom lens. It is used for close-up photography and available in different diopters ranging from +1 to +10. The higher the number the, closer the capture.

Macro close-up filters with a +10 diopters rating with a two-element, two-group construction lens are used for capturing tiny objects such as flowers and insects.

With it, you can easily take a close up of only half the subject, retaining the other half in its normal size. This is helpful when you want to focus on both near and distant objects simultaneously.

Multivision Filters

Multivision filters find their niche when a single subject needs to be displayed in an individual photo repeatedly. These filters are available in ranges of 3F, 3PF, 6F, 6PF, and 5F. Each number represents the number of times an object will be duplicated in the picture. Moreover, different colors can be added to an image using color multivision filters.

Misty Spot Filters

Misty spot filters are used for emphasizing the primary focal point of the picture. For this purpose the background of the image is set to a blur with the image in its normal state to accentuate the subject in the foreground.

There are four different types of misty spot filters: breezing filters, gradual filters, windmill filters, and halo filters.

Diffusion Filters

Due to uneven or irregular surface, diffusion filters produce a soft focus effect. These are normally used for portrait shots.

Center Spot Filters

The center spot filter gives the center a sharp and clear image. The background, on the other hand, ends up with a romantic, foggy effect.

These filters enhance specific details of photos without the use of computer photo editing software.
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