The Filter Factor

The Filter Factor

No matter whether you use black & white or color films, filters play a big part in how your image will appear. Filters come in a variety of colors and special applications, and can be of the round screw-in, drop-in, or my personal favorite, the square Cokin-P series filter types. No matter which you use, you must consider the filter factor (FF) of each when determining the correct exposure for your image.

Film exposures on meter readings (in white light) must be increased to compensate for the loss of light through a particular filter. This increase in exposure is called a filter factor and expressed as a number by which you multiply the exposure. For example, a yellow filter has a factor of 2X in white light, so the exposure needs to be doubled by adding one stop (or opening) to your aperture or by doubling the exposure time.

As I’m primarily a black & white photographer, my filters and filter factors include:

Yellow – FF 2X (lightens areas of yellow, orange and reds, and darkens blues)

Orange – FF 4X (lighten areas of orange and red, and produce darker blues and greens)

Red – FF 8X (lightens reds, producing a truly dark effect to the sky with heavy contrast)

Green – FF 8X (lightens green areas and darkens blues, reds, and oranges)

Blue – 8X (lightens areas of blue while darkening reds, oranges, and yellows)

In addition, other filters such as neutral density have FFs based on their densities. These filter range from 0.1 to 4.0 generally, which a 1/3 stop increase in exposure required at each interval. For example, 0.1 = 1/3 stop increase, 0.3 = 1 stop, 1.0 = 3 1/3 stops, and so on.

So go ahead, have fun and explore the whole new photographic world that opens up when you apply some of these filters to your favorite camera/lens combination.

Old Glenn Highway Bridge

Old Glenn Highway Bridge

Today after work I decided to take the more scenic (if there is such a thing) route home via the Old Glenn Highway. Once again the clouds were out in all their glory and I decided to stop at the Old Glenn Highway bridge just outside of Butte, Alaska. The bridge crosses over the Matanuska River and is now used as a conduit for power lines running thru the area.

Spring, Alaska Style

Spring, Alaska Style

Now that the snow is melting and we’re up to 13 hours of daylight, I can finally find the time once again to venture out after work. The endless scenery catches my eye around seemingly every corner and places me in a zone of creativity. Saw this on the way home the other day and couldn’t resist but get side tracked on the way home. There is all her beauty was Pioneer Peak, located in the vast Matanuska Valley, with cloud formations moving in and out around her. Calumet 4×5 Wood Field, 210 Caltar II-N, f5.6 lens, TMax 400, f22 @ 1/15th sec, red filter, processed in D76 1:1.

Welcome To My Blog

Welcome To My Blog

Hello, and welcome to my blog. Here you’ll be able to follow my work as I document the beauty and mystic of Alaska thru the use of traditional film photography and keep you abreast of news and trends in the world of film. I truly hope you enjoy it, and share it with your friends.

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