29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2007
I disagree with a previous comment made about DSLR users not needing filters. I want to spend more time taking photo's than I do sitting in front of a computer screen. I do enough of that with working in IT.
This is a superb reference on the types of filters available with example images of their effects and advice on how & when to use them. The book starts with practical advice on how to choose a filter system and choosing the right one means you need never have to replace your filters when changing your current camera.
You can see examples of filter effects from most filter manufacturers websites, but this book goes further giving examples of what they are useful for (e.g. which filter to use with tungsten light sources). Lee also suggests how you can make some of your own filters, how to use multiple filters and how to avoid vignetting (darkening at the image corners which can occur when using multiple filters).
This is my favourite of the 3 books I own by Lee Frost and I recommend it to anyone thinking of buying a set of filters. The section with the sunset and twilight filters was enough to convince me that I should buy some.
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2003
For the past year I've been wondering about filters. But when I looked for information to get me started....NOTHING! Finally, someone has written a fantastic guide and I daresay I will be using this for YEARS (this is not a 'read-it-once-and-sell-it' book). I love Lee Frost's work and although he lets some biases creep through, he tries to be open minded about types and brands. His photos clearly show what each type of filter can do and he spends a bit of time on pitfalls of some filters and systems. DEFINITELY WORTH THE MONEY!
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
I will put this succinctly, this book is to photography as the egg is to the omelette. I had gone for some months from having started as an amateur photographer with the impression that filters were something that existed but were not something that I really needed. Within hours of having read this book I had already ordered my first filter, and now have a list of the filters I have yet to get.
As is customary with Lee Frost he makes use of frequent examples, showing how certain filters were used to achieve certain effects. I can think of no better resource on the market that explains in such detail what filters there are around and how they can be used.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I had been aware of filters for some time although I had never properly considered getting a set, since I was under the assumption that I could manage without them.
I was wrong.
After having read this book I have come to realise just how essential they are. Within a day of having finished the book I had already placed an order for a set of filters. Such is the power behind this book, with frequent examples of how certain effects can be achieved relatively simply as well as listing all the filters available with an explanation of what they can do specifically.
Superb and an essential read for any photographer!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2006
This book covers the whole gamut of photographic filters, explaining what they do, why you would use them with samples of their effects.
While the information contained in this book is essential reading for serious film/slide photographers (both colour and black & white), for the DSLR photographer, much of this is of accademic interest only.
Polarizing, neutral density, and UV filters are probably all a DSLR user will need as most other effects can be achieved using image editing software.
If there is one obvious shortcoming in this book, it is a lack of reference to digital. For example, when refering to colour correction/changing/balancing filters, I would have liked some reference to how these are achieved in Photoshop.
Overall however, a great read. Even if you shoot digital (as I do), you will still need some of these filters and it is useful to be aware of other colour issues.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2010
I bought this book in April 2010 after reading a lot of reviews, in what is quite a crowded market place for such material.
I'm a very experienced amateur photographer but, have never used filters & have recently wanted to extend my horizons & enter this new creative world.
Firstly, this book is a menace! I mean this in the most complementary of ways namely, it is such a hard book to put down thus, interfering with all the other things I have to do.
It is superbly written with a clear & approachable style without being too formal or informal. It is really well structured & written by someone who is clearly very experienced in the field. It gives the right amount of "light science" without turning you into a physicist or swithing you off altogether.
Some of the photography is simply breathtaking & there are plenty comparative examples demonstrating what effects can be obtained by the use of filters.
The thing I most like about the book is that it is a distilation of years of experience & packed with useful tips & money saving ideas. The book has already saved its cover price with some simple practical advice & has really stoked my interest in this field.
If there is a weakness with this book, it is the fact that it refers to film photography a fair amount without bridging the "digital gap" in places. I accept there are still film enthusiasts out there but, I imagine the bulk of the audience uses DSLR these days. If this book is ever revised this would be the only area for improvement in my humble opinion.
To the author Lee Frost, I extend my gratitude for putting this work together & hope it brings you the recognition & success you so clearly deserve.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2009
I bought this book because I've seen pictures where the authors used filters. Since I'm enthusiastic about photography I decided to learn a bit more before spending real money on that. I've researched the web, but I wanted some more and end up buying this book.
It was a wise decision. The book explains you with fair detail the different types of filters, how to use them to improve your pictures and to use them in a creative way. The book is rich in pictures which allow you to compare the differences without filters and with filters. However, I would expect a bit more technical information but (good or bad) the book author does not provide.
Also, this guide is based on traditional film cameras, however there is a big gap for digital cameras. For instance, with modern dslr's it's possible to define color temperature corrections which makes me believe that filters for the same purpose are obsolete. Since I'm not an expert, I wonder what more can we do digitally without the need of expensive filters. I see the purpose of neutral density filters (and graduated neutral density), but can some color filters be used with digital manipulation programs (photoshop, lightroom, aperture, others)?
In any case this book is an excellent guide to learn about filters and I highly recommend it.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2007
My review provides a detailed discussion of the book's contents but if you have a train to catch, here's my verdict in a nutshell. Frost's is as good a book on filters as you are likely to find, with one caveat. The digital revolution has made large sections of this book obsolete, and it is not such a long book to begin with.
Simply put, if you are a digital camera user like me, you'll find some of the material of no use. Other sections, while not necessarily useless, will describe effects which are now routinely achieved using image processing software. Luckily, there remain valuable sections on filters such as polarizers or ND grads which are still essential for digital photographers.
PS. If you are a film photographer with an interest in using filters, this book is a treasure trove of information - but then you probably know it all already, an old hand that you are.
I can imagine just how invaluable this book would have been in the nineties or in the early noughties, when digital cameras were a fascinating and expensive glimpse into the future. Lee Frost is an acclaimed landscape photographer, and he had poured into this slim book a wealth of information about the use of filters for film photography. However, now that film is quickly becoming a fascinating and expensive glimpse into the past, unnervingly long passages in the book have become dated or even obsolete. I mention this because for a book first published in 2002 and reprinted regularly ever since, it is disappointing to find that the author has chosen to ignore the technological advances and fails to acknowledge even the most basic requirements of digital photographers. For instance, if you would like to know how the cropped sensors of many modern SLR cameras affect the performance of a particular filter or filter system, Frost's not gonna tell ya (though he probably oughta).
This visually attractive book has been divided into a number of short sections devoted to different filter types, each illustrated with beautiful, high quality images.
1. Choosing a filter system
Describes the different filter types (screw-on or slide-in) and discusses the size and application of the major systems and brands (Cokin, Hitech, Lee, etc.). This section is highly useful, even if a note on cropped sensor cameras would be in order to make this section complete.
2. Polarizing filters
3. Graduated filters
A very useful introduction to the two essential tools of landscape photography.
4. Colour-balancing filters
This section is a mixed bunch. Where it discusses colour temperature and compensation (pages 53-59), it is only useful insofar as it effectively explains in simple terms what colour temperature is and why it matters. However, the techniques which are used to control and use colour temperature are different in digital cameras (each film type has its fixed colour temperature range that yields natural-looking images; in digital cameras, where the colour temperature is a matter of settings, no filters are needed).
Still, even if you are a digital camera user you will need to have an understanding of this phenomenon in order to figure out which settings will help achieve your intended result - in this sense, this section is worth a read.
Later on in the section (pages 60-67), correction filters are discussed (warm-up, cool-down, colour inversion, etc.). Again, when processing RAW files in your computer such modifications can be made at your leisure with no need for actual filters. Still, the pictures are pretty and inspirational.
Colour compensating filters (pages 68-74) are an answer to a problem long solved - just enter the White Balance setting in your camera menu or RAW processing software. Indeed, more often than not your digital camera will competently take care of that for you (Auto-WB). Only of use to film photographers.
5. Neutral-density filters
Here we get back into the timelessly useful territory of ND filters. These (i.e. non-graduated ND filters) are your ticket to those milky waterfall shots. The section is full of solid useful stuff and suggests some other creative uses for ND filters (pages 77-82).
6. Filters for black-and-white photography
Again, the issue of technological obsolescence re-emerges here but with no experience in B
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2009
Lee Frost provides an excellent insight into how to improve your photography by using filters. If you have a basic understanding of PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPOSURE; metering; stops; etc. etc... then you will understand this book very well.
Frost will walk you through the fundamentals to the most advanced of filter techniques in a very systematic way throughout the book. After reading this book, my wife and I went to Maui, Hawaii... and I even used some of his techniques on my Digital Canon 5D (because filters are often necessary for FILM photographers since "filter effects" can be applied to digital images in Photoshop).
When we got back from Hawaii, family and friends kept telling me how great my pictures are. And even to this day, I use the techniques from Frost's book to produce stunning images where ever I go. This book will truly transform your images if you study it diligently. Just buy it and best of luck with using filters to help improve your photos.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2010
This is an excellent book, with many coloured examples. I am glad that I read this book prior to purchasing any filters. The book is printed on good quality smooth finish paper and the pages are slightly larger than A4 format. My only adverse comment: The coloured plates are a little dark for my taste, perhaps a printer error. The book be could be further improved by the inclusion of some transparent/plastic pages with examples of filter colour patches to show the effects of the various filter categories, shades and densities, for the different filter manufacturers.