When to Use Your Camera's Filters

Giving digital photos extra pizzazz isn’t difficult—you can do it right inside your camera with the touch of a button. The trick is knowing when and how to use filter settings. With a little practice and a little creativity your photos will be more interesting than ever.

Most Samsung point-and-shoot cameras feature a variety of filter modes. While actual filters will vary from model to model, below are some of the most common and useful filter settings you’ll find. Get creative and experiment with these filter modes.

Get Artsy: These filters make photos look like fine art.

  • Sketch: Makes a photo look like it was sketched with an ink pen.
  • Oil Painting: Turns your photo into a faux, classic oil painting.
  • Ink Painting: Like Oil Painting, but with ink.

Go Retro: Achieve the look of yesteryear with a classic filter.

  • Vignetting: Get a high contrast, ultra-colorful look with a touch of blur, inspired by photos made with old Lomo cameras.
  • Old Film: Go full vintage with this effect.
  • Classic: Turns a color image into a black and white.
  • Retro: Similar to Classic, but with a brownish, sepia tone effect.

Have a Laugh: These filters work well for comic effect.

  • Fish-eye: Distorts the image by bulging out the center and fading away the edges.
  • Cartoon: Strip away features and simplify the image by turning your subjects into your own living comic strip.

Fix Your Mistakes: Correct problems before you ever snap the shot.

  • Soft Focus: Smooth out facial imperfections and add a hazy quality, like Hollywood does to beautify movie stars.
  • Defog: Clears up the image by removing any haze.

Advanced Effects: Theses filters can create a range of high-end effects from subtle to dazzling.

  • Miniature: So-called “tilt-shift” photography makes panoramic shots look like you’re photographing a scene of miniatures, like a model train set.
  • Half Tone Dot: Half tone effects add a pattern of tiny dots to your image, a bit like newsprint.
  • Cross Filter: Turns the hotspots from light bulbs and other bright areas into sparkly, cross-shaped stars.

When to Use a Filter

While filters make photography more creative, don’t get so carried away with filters that you forget the basic rules of photo composition and lighting. You still need to frame your subjects thoughtfully, considering how you want them to appear against items in the foreground and background. Lighting, too, is just as important if you’re using a filter: Keep the sun at your back or side, and avoid shooting when the sun is brightest. Remember to take a few shots with no filter applied: After you’ve captured the subject normally, then start experimenting with filter effects to see where you can take it.

The Hardware Option: Lens Filters

While filters make photography more creative, don’t get so carried away with filters that you forget the basic rules of photo composition and lighting. You still need to frame your subjects thoughtfully, considering how you want them to appear against items in the foreground and background. Lighting, too, is just as important if you’re using a filter: Keep the sun at your back or side, and avoid shooting when the sun is brightest. Remember to take a few shots with no filter applied: After you’ve captured the subject normally, then start experimenting with filter effects to see where you can take it.

Photo Credits: Samsung

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