Filters, WHAT?!?!?! / by matt wolfe [cc]

Got a question about what filters do, and what they are good for. So I thought I would post my response to him and the link I gave him; maybe it will be useful for you!

WHY DO I GET CRUSHED OUT COLORS IN THE SKY, AND WHEN I ADJUST FOR THAT, THE SUBJECT IS TOO DARK. DO I NEED A FILTER FOR THIS? IS A UV FILTER WHAT WILL WORK???

From my understanding, let's say there is a scale from 0 to 100, where zero is black and 100 is white, and the scale moves dependent on whatever is your brightest element. Just like if you are staring at the sun, you can't see everything else. The blow out on the highlights occurs because of your uneven lighting; which is what happens in natural light, during peak daylight (usually around noon-3 is the brightest). The brighter your brightest element, and the more focused you are on it, the less you'll see and get detail in elements that are darker. If you concentrate your image on the dark places, then the highlights will be blown out and there will be no detail in them.

SO, either shoot NOT during peak daylight, choose a time closer to dawn or dusk, to get more even lighting, or you enter the world of filters and (if you are still photographer you shoot RAW format or shoot multiple images of the same but at different exposures) post-production and processing.

This page has some good info that might help regarding filters. I did a cursory scan, and it seemed legit to me, and will save everyone posting a tid bit here and there.

cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-lens-filters.htm

Cheers.