Special Effects & Filters

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Although almost all photographs are concerned with creating realistic images that copy everything as an accurate representation of a subject, and we are we are so familiar with these types of photos, when a photographer or graphic designer uses a special effect, the results are far more eye-catching and impressive. Some effects take time and a great deal of technical knowledge to achieve, however there is much that can be achieved with little or no real technical expertise, but as you manipulate photographs to create the effects you want, you will learn and become more confident to try new things.

When we look at a subject from an angle that we would not normally view the subject our brain uses our special awareness to give proportion and scale to the subject. However, when we take a photograph of the subject from the same angle the result appears odd and even distorted. This is due to the fact that the photograph is a two dimensional image of a three dimensional subject. For example, if you take a photograph of a person reclining on a chair with their feet outstretched toward the camera in the two dimensional field the feet appear to be oversized and out of proportion to the body, this effect is accentuated when a wide angle lens is used. Normally we would avoid such a distorted perspective but it can produce stunning effects and interesting images when the subject material is correct.  

Using reflections it is an excellent way of creating simple but effective effects in digital photography. There are many reflective surfaces that can create interesting and creative images from is still quite reflections on a lake to the polished chrome other motor vehicle, reflections give a simple way of creating visually interesting photographs. Reflective surfaces are more often not down arrow flat two dimensional objects that are more commonly uneven and distorted.  

filters

 

One of the most common problems with photography has always been camera shake. Due to low light conditions and a slow shutter speed the image produced is blurred. The distortion caused often completely ruins the photograph, but it is possible to use the slower shutter speed to capture and image that is deliberately blurred to create the effect of movement. This is most commonly seen in photographs of waterfalls where the slower shutter speed gives the illusion of flowing water as opposed to two freezing the movement. When photographing a moving subjects and such as a runner or a racing car it is possible to use a slower shutters Peter but pan the camera and track the movement of the subject thereby creating the illusion of movement, because the background is blurred but this objective remains in focus of the has the camera tracks its movement.  

You’re slower shutter speed in combination with flash can also be useful when photographing a subject at night. For example, if you’re taking a portrait photograph at night and the background is poorly lit using flash will eliminate the subject but the background will completely disappear as there is insufficient light to expose the image’s background. Placing the camera on a tripod and using flash with a slower shutter speed will allow the correct exposure for the foreground with a flash eliminating the subject yet also allowing the background to be exposed as more of the background light registers in the camera.  

Another simple way of dramatically changing the look and feel of the digital image when using a DSLR camera, is the use of filters. There are a range of filters to choose from, and it is worth remembering that Filters are by far the most affordable way for extending your creative effects photos. Single and multicolour filters are effective for controlling the appearance on the landscape, by dramatically altering its hues to generate a different view. By using filters to change the colour and quality of light, you can manipulate the mood of a image without making it look obvious that any kind of manipulation of the image has taken place.  

Diffusion filters, neutral density, circular polarising, a starburst or diffraction filter and UV filters will all help to improve or change the look and feel of an image. Graduated filters, with a coloured half and clear half, add drama to landscape photos. Filters that radically transform the image need a very careful choice of subject matter if photos are and avoid looking simply gimmicky. Filters are not a substitute for creativity, however you sensitively incorrectly with time and practice they can help you produce creative affects that will enhance your basic subject, from a landscape to a beautiful wedding venue. A starburst or diffraction filter may enhance the brightness in the reflected light, creating a sense of sparkling. How the starburst filter works is that the filter has tiny little groves in it that spread light from the bright highlights into the darker areas of the photo, a Diffraction Filter is similar to a starburst filter but instead of stars those bright points of light are turned into colourful streaks or haloes that contain all colours of the spectrum. Different diffractions give different results.The effect you get with these types of filters depends on the focal length of your lens and on aperture you are using.  

Experiment by taking several different photos using different apertures, and pick one which you think has the most effective overall result.  

The most common way that people manipulate digital photographs today is the use of special photo editing software, such as Photoshop. There are a number of free software packages available on the Internet such as GIMP. The true value of photo editing software will only become apparent as you learn to use the various tools available. There are however the number of simple and basic tools that can help enhance your photographs  

It is easy to change the levels, hew and contrast, saturation, and sharpness. However when faced with a new software it can be extremely daunting to begin to use a program that you are unfamiliar with. However there are a great number of tutorials that can be watched free of charge on YouTube. YouTube is a greatly underestimated resource for learning new photo manipulation techniques.  

Once a photographer has mastered the basics of how to achieve the visual affected that was originally intended, then there is no limit to creativity of the photographer as he or she begins to shape the images taken to enhance the way the photographer understands and views the world. By simply changing some basic settings within an image of a photograph can stand out and be both visually appealing, as well as recording an event that will never happen again. Each photograph captures a moment in time that’ll never be repeated, and as we change in shape to look of those images we take them from being a simple recordings of a moment frozen in time to become a vibrant story of a three dimensional event of in a two dimensional plane.  

Photographs need to be the very best they possibly can and for a photograph to be the best it possibly can be, we need to be able to enhance the image, to create the best wedding album possible.

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