A photographer and his filters are pretty much inseparable. That’s because filters serve so many purposes, all of which yield better photographs. On every shoot, Peter takes a variety of filters — and when he went to Montana to shoot the episode “Winter Extremes,” his filters were put to good use again.
“In Montana there were glaciers and lakes, ice and snow,” said Peter. “In other words, lots of glare and reflections. So a polarizing filter is absolutely essential. I wouldn’t even think of trying to shoot landscapes in those conditions without one.”
Also on Peter’s must-have list is his UV filter. These absorb UV rays and give sharper images with less haze.
“If there’s any haze, the UV helps a lot,” added Peter. “And it prevents photos from having a blue-ish look that can happen if too much UV light gets to the film or digital sensor.”
Peter uses B+W, Cokin and Schneider filters, among others, with an emphasis on high quality glass and multi-coating. These last longer and deliver a better image. As with anything, you get what you pay for. Uncoated or monocoated filters are not recommended unless that’s all you can afford. These can increase flare, reduce contrast and lower image resolution.
If you want to find out about the full range of filters – there’s a ton of them! – go online and do a little research. If you’re a new photographer, you probably don’t want to complicate things too much. Maybe just a polarizing and UV filter to start.
One other thing: Filters will protect your lenses, and that can save you a lot of money. For a landscape photographer, that’s a big deal. A scratched lens is not something you want to contend with when you’re on a glacier in Montana.
So do your filter homework and don’t get left out in the cold.