Using Color Filters in Digital Photography

What are colored filters?

Colored filters are used in photography to alter the image in a photo by casting it in a different color. Colored filters in traditional photography are colored lenses placed in front of the camera lens. 

These lenses change how the camera interprets light, depending on the color of the filter. 

Color filters can also be applied with software such as Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture. There are also apps that can apply color filters to your images. 

Woman walking out of room; red color filter

Ways to Use Color Filters

Correct or enhance colors: Some filters can correct the coloring of a scene by altering colors in your images. Others can create a more vibrant image by strengthening color and contrast. 

Ensure Accurate Exposure: Filters can be used to ensure accurate exposure in difficult lighting conditions. Filters block light that enters the lens, particularly when shooting outdoors during daytime. 

Add Impact to Your Images: Color filters can be useful in adding impact to your images by increasing contrast, providing more vivid colors, getting rid of glare, and eliminating distracting reflections from water and glass surfaces. They can also add cool effects such as multi-point stars on light sources or softened edges.

snowflake; color filtered photograph

Types of Color Filters

  • Blue filters enhance reds and oranges, while intensifying contrast
  • Green is a good color for skin tones, particularly when shot in artificial light
  • Red filters absorb blue and green
  • Orange filters can be used to enhance images such as sunsets
  • Yellow filters are often used to provide a more realistic look to landscapes
  • Yellow-Green filters are the most often used, ranging from portraits to greenery
  • Graduated format filters can be used if you want to apply a color to half of your image

Using Color Filters in Black and White Photography

It is more common to use color filters in black and white photography than with color film. Filters used in color film are usually polarizing filters, UV filters and neutral density filters, to name a few.

You may want to use color filters in your black and white images to increase contrast and tone. The goal of black and white photography is to achieve good tonal range e.g., a wide gradient in whites, black and grays. However, wide tonal ranges can be hard to come by. Color filters can solve that problem.

LucidPix Filters

The LucidPix App has filter capabilities for your 3D photos and videos. Simply choose the photo you wish to make into 3D, and you will see a filter function.

If you generate a 3D video, there are several filters available to enhance your photo.

An original photo of a flower can look good and convert to 3D nicely, however, the colors captured by the camera may be too subdued. But if you add a filter to the photo, it will look like the flower was shot on a bright, sunny day.

Color Filter Apps for Digital Photos

These days, there are apps you can download to create cool effects for your digital images. For color filters, try downloading Color Filter on Google Play. The app can be applied to any digital photo. Other apps include PhotoEditor, Color Filters Photo, and Photo Effects.