Using Filters for Special Effects

Star and Cross Effect Filters

Star filters are typically used when you want to enhance reflections into a specific star shape. You’ll see these used in pictures of streetlights, theme parks, and sun reflections of surfaces like glass structures. Two of the most common are the Star-Six and the Star-Eight filters, which refer to the number of “points” on the star shape.

If you are taking photos of ladies wearing expensive jewelry, a Cross Screen Filter will add a “flare” in the shape of a four-cross. This is how they produce that dramatic effect in jewelry ads that focus your attention on the sparking diamond.

There are other variations, such as the Spectral Cross Filter and the Vario Cross Filter. Spectral cross filtering produces a cross of light with a soft-focus effect, particularly good for portraits. A Vario Cross Filter will add the effect of four rays of light coming from each light source.

Close-up Filters

Instead of just being limited by a camera’s zoom, you can add close-up filters and Macro filters. Macro close-up filters are good for taking shots of small insects, flowers and other tiny objects at close-up. They typically have a +10 diopter rating with a 2-element, 2-group construction lens.

Another creative filer is the Split field filter. This splits the image so that half is a close-up shot while the other half is normal.

Multivision Filters

If you want to create the effect of the same object being repeated in a photo, check out Multivision Filters. These are available in 3PF, 3F, 5F, 6F, and 6PF where the number determines the number of times the object will be repeated. These work best with dark backgrounds or larger objects.

Multivision filters are made up of optical glass accurately cut into different facets. Color multivision filters add different colors to the image. There are two types available – 3F with three faces in red, green and blue, and 5F with five faces equally divided into orange and green colors.

Diffusion Filters

Diffusion filters provide a soft focus effect on the image due to an irregular or uneven surface. This kind of filter is specifically used for portraits.

Center Spot Filters

The center of this filter has a clear spot that gives the center image a clear and sharp effect, while the background can have an effect of fog to make it romantic.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to enjoy the use of special effects filters. Try adding one or two to your collection and experiment with them in different situations. Who knows… you could come up with a whole new unique look-and-style!