Camera Filters - A practical application

Updated: May 11, 2019

For most trips when I travel, I at carry at least 3 filters which I find essential in photography and are near impossible to create the effect in post editing or any other method. They are a 6 stop and 10 stop ND (Neutral density) and a Polarizing filter. Each for a different purpose and situation ranging from photographing people, landscapes and cityscapes where motion or reflections can be utilised in the scenario. In most instances when using a filter, a tripod is required to ensure that the camera is still while shooting.

There might be times when the light changes quickly and I will change between filters. The key to capturing what you need is to have a look at the result as you shoot and be dynamic enough in making changes when out in the field.

6 Stop ND FIlter - 6 sec exposure at f22. Shot on Sony A7RIII with 16-35mm f.40 at 27mm

An ND filter is essentially a dark piece of glass that allows for a longer shutter speed exposure. This is useful whenever theres motion involved and we can capture motion blur of people, water or clouds for example. Essentially the higher the number of the ND filter (3, 6, 10 stops etc) the more light the filter blocks out.

The motion can leave a ghostly blur, water can be smoothed out to look tranquil and dreamlike, clouds can lose their edges and become a blanket. The “Neutral” refers to the colour not changing with the amount of light being captured.