Kirk Norbury • Are Filters Becoming a Thing of the Past?

Kirk Norbury discusses the changing role of filters in landscape photography and asks, have they become a thing of the past?

As any landscape photographer will know, filters play a major part in our image-making process and have done so for a very long time. They help us control shutter speed, light, reflections and change the creative mood of the scene. I have been using an array of filters ever since I first began my journey in landscape photography some five years ago. I primarily use ND graduated filters to balance the exposure. I also use a circular polarising filter for cutting down glare, reflections and to add contrast to the sky. These tools have been crucial in my photography over the years, enabling me to capture the image that I have envisioned in my head. However, I have found that recently I spend less time reaching into my camera bag for those once crucial filters.

One major factor in the increasing absence of filters is the dynamic range of the camera sensors; with every new release they seem to gain the ability of pushing the shadows and recovering highlights further than ever before. This has affected my use of graduated filters to the point where I do not use them anymore and now rely on the camera’s sensor to do the work for me. For my photography I use a Nikon D800, which has an amazing ...

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About Author

Kirk Norbury

Kirk is a landscape photographer based in Ayrshire, Scotland. His interest in photography began at college and it was there that he was able to combine his two passions; nature & photography.

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