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Old Jul 19, 2005, 10:14 AM   #1
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Barbara Coultry suggested this one. She has some important family matters to deal with but hopefully she will be able to check in occasionally and critique a few photos. Barbara, we wish you the best and also the best for your son.

Filters come in all types, colors, shapes, and prices! Anyone who has bought filters knows how expensive they are, especially those designed for special effects and larger sized filters for large diameter lenses.

However, using materials found around the house, you can create your own "filters" for a variety of special effects. A piece of nylon stocking or pantyhose held over the front of the lens makes an excellent softening filter. A piece of window screen can be used to create a starburst effect. Vaseline or watercolor paints applied to a clear uv filter or clear piece of glass can be used to create a variety of special effects. Warning--NEVER apply anything of this nature directly to the front of the lens! It may be difficult to remove and could damage the lens. A UV filter is much cheaper to replace.

Some things I have thought of but havent tried are punching some holes (about 1/4 inch diameter) in some foil and wrapping that around the lens. Shooting through a group of these holes might produce some really interesting effects. Try a piece of cardstock with a cruciform shape hole cut in it for another effect. Try different shaped cutouts for different effects.

Barbara suggested using celophane or other colored transparent materials. You could use more than one color. Kitchen plastic wrap comes in a variety of colors and would stick easily to a uv filter and is easily removed. Along this same line, if you have access to the colored gelatin filters used in theatrical lighting, they come in hundreds of colors. Use caution with these as they will melt if they get wet. They really are made of a type of gelatin.

You get the idea. Try putting a variety of different things in front of the lens and see what kind of effect they produce. Clear household glassware is a possibility.

Your assignment is shoot pictures using these "ersatz" filters and show us the results. Please include with your photo(s) a description of exactly what you did.

Please put "Filters" in the subject line of your posting.

The previous challenge "See the Picture" seems to have died on the vine but I am going to go ahead and let it run the full two weeks. You may participate in either challenge.

Cal Rasmussen

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