I think I understand Graduated Neutral Density Filters, however, what are the purpose and how do you use Graduated Color Filters? (IE Red, Yellow, Blue, etc)


Are they worth it?


1 Answer 1


I've got a graduated (orange) "sunset" filter I bought on impulse and used once. In the right circumstance it can enhance a sunset, but to be honest, nothing you can't do in post processing.

If doing B&W photography, a graduated red filter could be used to darken the sky and make the clouds more dramatic (using the red half of the filter for the sky, as it will darken blues). The advantage here is you can affect the sky and clouds, but not have an impact on the foreground.

I would say they are largely a novelty item. They'd have their use in specific circumstances - so if you have tons of gear and $$ an happy to carry them around until they're needed, sure. Otherwise not the most useful item in the bag.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That is what I thought and figured some bit of work in post could replicate the filter. Thanks for the info. => \$\endgroup\$
    – L84
    Apr 2, 2012 at 5:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1, good answer. These kinds of filters were handy for people shooting slide film, for whom almost all creative image work needed to take place in-camera since there was no digital post-processing step. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 2, 2012 at 9:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ very useful for some B&W photography, I need to get some grads myself as I only have the full colour ones \$\endgroup\$
    – Dreamager
    Apr 2, 2012 at 13:25
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "but to be honest, nothing you can't do in post processing" - that is not entirely true. The color filter also reduces the amount of light on the coloured part of the filter. Under the right conditions, it can smooth out the histogram of the image - results in longer exposure time and much more detail will appear in the image. This is something you definitely cannot do with post processing. Under the right conditions only! \$\endgroup\$
    – nagylzs
    Dec 5, 2014 at 9:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.