good filters for people.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by msbarnes, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I plan on investing on some filters for taking portraits; not studio portraits but more informal environmental portraits, I guess. I did some research and are my assertions correct?

    Yellow filters will lighten skin tones and reduce blemishes.
    Green filters will darken skin tones and make blemishes stand out.
    yellow-green is in between.
     
  2. gmay

    gmay Member

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    I was under the impression that green filters are decent for portraits while blue filters will darken skin tones and emphasize blemishes....
     
  3. Danielle

    Danielle Member

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    That was the impression I was also under. I don't tend to do many portraits with B&W, but I know I've used green before for them.
     
  4. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Blue will emphasize blemishes, red will hide them. Green will give a fairly natural-looking result, even compared to no filter. Shooting with extended-red or IR film (SFX200, IR820, etc) can give a glowing marble look to skin.

    A polariser will reduce oily-skin reflections & highlights for a more matte, made-up look.
     
  5. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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  6. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Consider the subject's complexion. A similar color filter will lighten and the opposite color will darken (green darkens red). There are lighter and darker versions of many filters and the lighter versions will probably give a more natural appearance if that is what you are after.
    Also consider some degree of diffusion for some people ( although I shouldn't mention it here, PhotoShop can do wonders on wrinkles and blemishes).

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  7. BradleyK

    BradleyK Member

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    If a natural rendition is what you are after, I would opt for either a light green or light to moderate yellow. When shooting with my Nikons, I generally go with either the 85mm F1.4 or my 105mm F1.8 with either Nikon's X0 or Y44 or Y48 filters replacing the usual skylight..
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I agree with you.
     
  9. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I like an orange filter most of the time. No one has mentioned it but a soft filter helps in certain situations. Thats the one thats going to help with wrinkles, blemishes, and uneven skin tones.

    I have seen the blue filter used in male portraits to kick up the dramatic feel and the masculinity a bit.
     
  10. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Yes, your assertions are correct.

    You can of course go further with lighteneing skin tones and blenishes - yellow/orange, orange and even red.

    The effect can be quite interesting - you might end up with alibaster looking skin and almost no lip colour

    Lip colour can be then be managed with Lipstick shade or colour

    Choice of lighting is also important - Flash (Strobes) give an effect similar to daylight.

    Tunsten has the same sort of effect of using yellow and orange filters.

    Generally, women prefer their portraits done with filters that will reduce skin blemishes - so yellow/orange/red

    If you want to show off the weathered skin of a man then a green filter is probably what you need.

    It depends on your subject and what you are trying to capture - but a bit of experimentation (with notes so you can remember what you did) is a great way to learn

    Martin
     
  11. dnjl

    dnjl Member

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    You are obviously talking about filters for Caucasians. Note that green filters darken skin with a complexion ("brown" skin). I find a green filter gives very natural results with Indian-type people (I don't know what that skin color is called), without a filter they look too pale.
    You can also choose filters based on eye color. Blue filters give very interesting results with blue-eyed people.
     
  12. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Well I wasn't intending this thread to be geared toward Caucasions but I guess that is what is usually assumed in the literature. I'm interested in filters for fair-skinned and tanned-skinned people mostly. I'll probably have to play around with a few filters to find out which I prefer but I was thinking of starting out with three: Polarizer, Yellow, and Green.

    I feel that the Polarizer will darken skys when they're in the frame without the tonal effects of a red filter and they would be very useful in general whenever I have some reflective surface. I'll probably opt for some light to moderate shades of yellow and green because I prefer more natural renditions. I'm not really trying to hide blemishes and wrinkles too much. I just want to make the skin tones a little darker or lighter and I do agree that naturally tanned-skin people look a bit pale.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2011