Open menu
  • Subscriptions
  • Photo Tours
  • Photo Books
  • Menu
  • Login
    • Better Photography Education Website Info

      If you are already a subscriber to Better Photography or one of our many other courses, you'll need to login at our sister website, Yes, it's a little confusing - and you should complain bitterly to our editor about it! However, in the meantime, click on any of the links in this panel to be taken directly to the Better Photography Education website where your reading and viewing material is awaiting your return!

      Click here to visit the Better Photography Education Website

  • Home

Ragged Ranges, Kununurra
Phase One XF 150MP, 110mm Schneider lens, f2.8 @ 1/2000 second, ISO 50.                        

My approach to travel photography is to keep things simple. Not using filters means I can react quickly (not fumble around looking for a filter) and I can also adjust my images in post-production, so I don’t find myself needing much in the way of filters for travel photography.

Having said that, a UV or Skylight filter can be helpful as a protective filter. Both the UV and Skylight filters make next to no difference to your exposures and were more a solution for film photographers wanting to avoid too much blue in their exposures. Many photographers would leave them on their lenses permanently and they have become a de facto filter which the camera store will sell you when purchasing a new lens. So, while I would suggest they won’t improve your exposures, the protective attributes are certainly worthwhile as it’s much cheaper to replace a scratched filter than a scratched front lens element.

One filter that can do things that post-production can’t is the polarising filter. I usually take one with me on trips as it can be very useful for emphasising or reducing reflections. If you’re shooting water, a polariser can let you look below the water surface, or through a store window without reflections. I rarely use a polariser for darkening blue skies, especially not with wide-angle lenses, as the darkening effect is not uniform and you end up with uneven transition effects.

Neutral density filters, on the other hand, are useful. If you use a wide aperture lens, an ND filter can reduce the light so you can still shoot wide open in bright sunshine (normally you have to close your lens down a few stops to ensure correct exposure). And stronger ND filters can be used along with a tripod to blur the sea and clouds – so there’s always a spot for a couple of ND filters in my travel kit.