Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Use of Art Filters in Photography


A Common Debate: 

Is there Creative Integrity in using Art Filters in Photography?

With the success of Instagram and Hipstamatic (to a lesser degree) and the boom of 'phoneography', the use of filters in photography is an intensely debated topic on blogs all over the internet.

However, the debate seems largely redundant, as the new methods of 'instant' photography are only gaining in popularity.

What would have happened had the world debated how the instant gratification of a Polaroid was taking the integrity out of photography?
So, there seems little point in buying into the argument here. Instead, I will explain why the use of filters works well for me. 

Personally, I believe that a filter can’t turn a poorly composed photo into a memorable image.

When engaging in 'phoneography' I dabble in using filters almost all of the time. This is largely due to my wanting to work the image in a manner similar to how I work a painting.When working a painting, I will layer it, and strip it back - ad infinitum. I do so in order to create, manipulate, or enhance the colour or texture of the painting.

And so the same principle applies with my photographs. In my opinion, the only difference is that the paintings are a real life format and the photography digital.

Being an untrained photographer, I am not so concerned about whether a photograph follows the rules. The only rule I truly stick to is making sure that the image composition is correct.

If the image is engaging, regardless of what camera was used to create it, or what filters (if any) were used, then the photographer has been successful in accomplishing their task.
Even when I am shooting with my gorgeous Olympus OM-D EM5, I still make good use of the filters. As discussed in an earlier post, the accessibility of quality art filters on your camera is invaluable. I often commence a shoot with the use of filters in the back of my mind when planning the shots.

So, in my humble opinion, the use of art filters in photography does have creative integrity. And for more than one reason. Even more so for me, as filters are a necessity in achieving the creative results I desire.

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