Do you know the feeling, when you kinda want to try something new in your photography style? Well, I recently had some time to think about my photography, and I've come to the conclusion, that I want to add some new styles to my repertoire.
I decided that I want to go for a smooth and glowy look. The highlights should be softer and the skin less contrasty. To achieve this desired outcome, I needed some extra gear: A Black Mist Filter.
Disclaimer: The following product was sponsored by K&F.
K&F provided me with a Kit of Black Mist Filters. The Kit contains 1/4 & 1/8 (1 each) 82 mm black diffusion filters. I went for the biggest (82 mm) so I can fit them on almost every lens with some step down rings. My most used lenses are between 82–67 mm in diameter. The filters help to soften the image or video light and control the highlights, also making skin or pores more smooth. They are made of high-precision optical glass from Japan AGC, multilayer coatings for additional transparency up to 84% (black diffusion filter 1/4) and 87% (black diffusion filter 1/8) transmittance, effectively reduce the reflection came from the filter itself. The ultra-thin frame of only 3.3 mm avoids vignetting and dark corners on wide-angle and telephoto lenses.
So I grabbed my X-H2s and slapped my XF 50 mm f1 on it and went out to a 10-minute portrait shoot. I absolutely wanted to use this for a backlit sunset shooting, but it’s constantly clouded in Austria since the new year started. Sun is very rare these days. So I tried to make the most out of it. We went to a covered location and I tried to place the model with a lot of backlight, that’s where the effect is the greatest IMO. The photos beneath are shot using the 1/4 filter and are edited in LR with my presets.
To get a little side by side comparison with and without filter. What do you prefer more?
You can clearly see the highlights roll off very beautifully and it gives a very dreamy look. The contrast is reduced, and the skin looks softer, like using a clarity slider in Lightroom in the negative space, but way more natural.
Here are a few more shots of our short session. So far I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen, but it definitely needs some further testing, like using it in different lighting environments, maybe for landscape, different lenses to see how the filter performs. I also need to use the 1/8 more.
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