What is camera filters

Light acts in two distinct ways in photography. When it strikes the camera sensor or film it behaves like a stream of particles (photons). But before it strikes the camera sensor or film, while it is passing through the lens or other transparent materials, it displays a wave motion. Visible light is a continuous spectrum composed of different wavelengths. In the visible spectrum, which is only a portion of the larger electromagnetic spectrum, we perceive the different wavelengths as different colors. Although light from a source such as the sun seems to be free of color and is therefore called white, it is in fact composed of all wavelengths of the visible spectrum, that is, of all colors. These differing wavelengths (or colors) as well as certain other wave characteristics, can be distinguished among by the use of filters.

Filters are translucent devices placed so as to transmit light selectively, with respect to color, wave motion, or amount, in order to affect the film in predetermined ways.


By nature, all filters are subtractive. That is, they remove some of the light passing through them and thereby modify what happens to the film during exposure. How they do so is determined by their absorptive and reflective character, and by their refractive capacity. And this also determine the types of camera filters.

Below is some details discussing about the nature of light and filtration, and some of the methods of using filters in general photography. Of course, nowadays, a lot of these filtrations are being done digitally in post processing or be camera setting itself, it is still interesting to know how it was being done when digital post processing was not available.


About Camera Filters

Types of Camera Filters

Camera Care

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