As you may have read on an earlier blog, the eight art filters in the Olympus EP-2 provide an exciting addition to creative photography. I frequently use art filters 1, 5 and 8 -‘Pop Art’, ‘Grainy Film’ and ‘Cross Process’ respectively. The more I use them, the more I keep looking for ways to exploit their characteristics. Once you are familiar which subjects and light work best with each, you can really have some fun. Initially, I like to take a ‘standard’ shot (no filter) for comparison and safety. The Bangkok temple skyline seen below provided good examples.
Image specs: Olympus E-P2, f7, 1/100, ISO 100, 24 (48mm), 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Standard Wide Zoom (M.Zuiko), white balance auto’, vivid mode, hand-held.
Art filter QUICK TIPS:
‘POP ART’ This super-saturated effect, a little over-used in early digital pics from my experience in publishing, can now exist in its own right as a powerful style. It takes a shift to get your mind back to ‘normal’ daylight photography after using this!
‘SOFT FOCUS’ I recently took some shots of my baby niece in natural light. The soft focus effect works beautifully for portraiture of this kind. Try backlight or work near a window.
‘PALE & LIGHT COLOUR’ Choose your subject and time of day carefully. Shades of the same overall colour create a sense of stillness. A lake or simple landscape or even skyscraper windows for example at dawn and dusk.
‘LIGHT TONE’ Again, this can apply to a landscape or dreamy portrait.
‘GRAINY FILM’ A fabulous filter that makes you realise how beautiful black and white can be and always was, as digital can tend to plug the virtues of colour. Experiment with contrasty light, silhouettes, rooftops, night-time shadows and street lighting.
‘PIN HOLE’ Another very interesting effect for a sense of intimacy in portraits of couples as this frames the image with a dark vignette. This will keep attention on the centre subject. I like this with the aspect ratio 6:6 (square format). Try it.
‘DIORAMA’ Not familiar with this at the outset, I found the effect of softening the exterior of an image to create a scene that looks like a model works especially well with buildings. I’ve shot train stations and motorway overpasses to great effect.
‘CROSS PROCESS’ This is another of my favourite filters. The technique reproduced here of processing print in slide chemicals and vice versa, gives a stunning colour energy to skies, clouds, walls and foliage. Look for striking shapes against a bright blue sky. Shoot in the middle of the day, exploit bright light!
I’ll upload examples soon.
© Warren Field 2010