Water Bird in Copper

Know Something Most Artists Don’t Know About Filters

This incredible capture of a local bird fishing by the side of a tranquil pond owes its drama and vision to the use of filters in photographic art.

I’m often called upon to explain what a photographic artist does to not only the everyday art lover, but often enough to painters and sculptors also. Many people, especially, other artists are often hung up with the use of photography as merely a recording tool for selfies. Slowly, those barriers of understanding break down more and more as people see the artistic results of science and art blended in perfect unison.

One of my favorite explanations  is that in photographic art the light is our paintbrush and reality is our stretched canvas. However, we need to add another line to that explanation as our work of art Water Bird in Copper this time displays.

Water Bird in Copper
Water Bird in Copper

Namely, a filter is our artist palette.


This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Mlaoxve
Public domain by its author, Mlaoxve

Artist palettes are stereotypically envisioned as large boards held by painters where they mix the colors of the paints they are going to use. It’s one of the oldest and most recognizable pieces of equipment in a painter’s toolbox.


Painters use palettes to mix their colors to achieve the perfect nuance of color that they then apply to the picture that they are painting. It allows them to lighten or darken paints to create help them create the highlight or shadow in the work according to their artistic vision.

In photography, the use of filters is nothing new. In fact, with out the use of filters color film would never have developed. Filters allow certain wavelengths of light, or colors, through to the lens while blocking others.   This is often used to stop glare and boost picture clarity. Or, in it’s artistic application; the humble filter can serve the role of the palette and dramatically enhance the drama and beauty of the picture at hand.

 Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!


What's on your mind?