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Photography Question 
Shelly Helm

Which filters should I try?

I am going to be shooting senior pictures for my cousin who will graduate from HS next spring. We have found several things that we would like to try. I would like to experiment with filters, as I've never used them before. I like to buy a few, any suggestions? Also, do I need to make any adjustments when I'm using them? I have a Canon Rebel.

I'm also shooting a wedding in July, any suggestions for that would also be appreciated (filters or otherwise)

Thank you


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3/7/2002 10:39:32 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy   Is your cousin a male or female? Are you shooting color or b&w? I avoid the use of most filters because they usually look too gimicky to me. For females I do use a soft focus filter from time to time. A warming filter can be nice but it's effects can be negated by poor printing. If you're shooting b&w a yellow filter can help with skin tones. A green filter can be good for males as it tends to darken skin and give it that bronzed look. If you're using your camera's meter you don't have to make any exposure compensations. The camera will do it for you. Keep in mind that when using a soft focus filter the smaller aperture you choose the less effect the filter will have in the final print. IOW it will be sharper and less soft.

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3/7/2002 11:22:57 AM

Shelly Helm   My cousin is a girl, I had thought of soft focus filter. I'll be shooting mostly color, I don't think she'll go for b&w (I might sneek one role in anyway) Thanks for the help, I'm headed to my favorite camera shop this weekend..


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3/7/2002 11:29:34 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Everything Jeff said plus:
If you use a soft-focus shoot some of the same poses with and without it. Then decide looking at the proofs which you like best. Same applies to using a green filter for B/W's with male subjects. With a yellow (K2) for B/W? Almost always use one and I don't worry about it unless the subject has light blonde hair.

The real reason for my reply is about the the wedding:
This is *not* a simple task. I'm presuming from your question you've never shot a wedding. Basic principle to keep in mind planning this: _Keep_it_simple_ with film and equipment. Use a single film and film speed, and use a single lens if at all possible. You'll have enough to be thinking about in dynamic situations (people moving about and timing of the photographs) without worrying about which film speed is loaded, changing lenses or having to continually adjust something. Your biggest issue will be lighting and having enough of it for distances greater than that encountered with other general family photography around the home. Presuming you are also going to be *THE* photographer, see my basic wedding survival tutorial here:
It's not a course for professional wedding work which easily fills entire books, but it does cover basic planning, major pitfalls, and how to avoid them.

I don't recommend using any filters for a wedding, except perhaps one. I've used a four-point "star" filter *only* for available light shots on tripod using a cable release during the first half to two-thirds of the ceremony from the rear. (It's ineffectual with flash.) Under some conditions with many candles it's too much effect. If you do use one, rotate it so the star has an evenly balanced "X" effect and shoot some with and without it. Some people like it, some don't, and it can be hard to tell exactly how much effect it has looking through the viewfinder.

-- John

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3/10/2002 12:46:32 AM

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