Light Yellow Filter

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by CMoore, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. CMoore

    CMoore Subscriber

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    For lack of a better description, i am basically a "Street Photographer".
    Just shooting everyday life as it occurs in Small and Big Cities...mostly outside.
    Those of you that do similar (Black & White Film) do you notice any Advantage/Benefit to leaving a Light Yellow filter on your lens.?
    I think i have shot enough HP5 to have an idea what my negs typically look like with just a UV Filter. Next time i go out, i am going to keep the Light Yellow on and see what happens.
    Any real reason to not do this.....or at least try it for 36 frames.?
    Generally speaking, is a Light Yellow likely to make my Negs look "worse", or make them more difficult to print.?
    Thank You
     
  2. awty

    awty Subscriber

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    I often carry yellow, red, orange and blue. I rattle a lot.
    Really depends on the camera lens and what im trying to do. A good lens is best without any filter. Some of my older not so good lens I use at least a yellow filter outdoors almost always. The rest is for creative input.
    A good yellow filter is pretty subtle and wont be adversive to your printing. Try it.
     
  3. awty

    awty Subscriber

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    Btw you should expose a little more if you use a yellow filter. I think they need a half stop more, but will depend on the filter.
     
  4. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    A yellow filter will render blue objects in your scene darker and yellow (and red and green) things proportionally lighter. If that's what you want to have happen, then by all means, shoot with yellow filter. You may find that the rendering of skin tones is more pleasing to you with a yellow filter and a particular film; or you may not.

    The main thing, however, is to use filters based on some understanding of what they do and some necessity or desire to have the effect that the filter provides. Just slapping on a yellow filter and firing away without a real idea of how that will change the rendering of a scene from a non-filtered one doesn't give you much information to base an informed decision on. Bracket with and without the filter and see what it does and if you like that. Then, make your decision about whether it's worth losing a stop of shutter speed for your street photography to shoot with the filter.

    Best,

    Doremus
     
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    To get a rough & ready idea of how a filter will work, procure a color wheel. Blue will be opposite yellow, therefore yellow will effect blue primarily, the colors either side of blue less, and so on. The color response of your film is the next most important factor followed closely by exposure. Another useful filter for general b&w use is a yellow-green.
     
  6. OP
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    CMoore

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    I realize that a Light Yellow will give a somewhat "Better Sky", rendering a darker Blue and "Whiter" clouds. Not much of a concern (not usually) for street photos.
    I have read, many times, that "people" look a little better with a light yellow on the lens. I thought i might just leave it on and see if things change...mainly if the printing looks worse or gets more difficult.
    As you say, the best way would be to shoot the same frame 2x.....with and without the filter.
    I will have to see how it goes. As little as i get to The City, i will probably throw caution to the wind. :wink:
     
  7. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    A yellow will generally give a slight boost in contrast, quite a few b&w users leave a yellow 1 on the lens all the time.
     
  8. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    I suppose that might depend on the colour of the people one runs into.
     
  9. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    Tiffen states that a light yellow will give normal contrast w/b&w film, negating the blue that that b&w is overly sensitive to. Medium yellow, which I always thought was for normal contrast gives a stonger effect, bringing out clouds more. I'm in the process of buying ALL the light yellow filters in ALL the sizes I need and using them as my normal filter.
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Blue people will come out darker.
     
  11. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    I almost always shoot with the Wratten #8, if a stronger filter is not required.
     
  12. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    :D
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    It depends on your subject matter. If you don't include blue in the scene then the filter will have little or no effect.
     
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  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Picts! I meant Picts! Damn it!!
     
  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    ^^^Or Blue Man Group?
     
  17. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Is it really a non issue? Or just a subject for humour? Maybe someone who has a majority Asian or African or other non Caucasian clientele will pipe up. There certainly is nothing in the web that I can find. I thought it was a valid question.
     
  18. OP
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    CMoore

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    Hence my quotes around the word....."people".
    I have often Heard/Read that a light yellow filter renders people's skin in a more natural tone. I have no idea if or why that would just include Caucasians, but maybe it does.
    Historically, many details were expressed from the perspective of "The People In Power."
    Perhaps i am unknowingly repeating "wisdom" that has been carried over from the past 100 Years, where a statement about skin color might very likely have meant European/Caucasian skin.?
    If you have darker skin, would a Light Yellow Filter make your skin look any better or worse than somebody with lighter skin.?
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Light yellow filters deal well with environments where there is a moderate excess of blue light. And a lot of the outdoor environments we encounter feature that excess.
    Some people find that the slightly reduced blue sensitivity of T-Max 400 accomplishes something similar.
     
  20. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    This expands upon the ideas given in post #18

    With respect to black-and-white photography, yellow filters can enhance foreground contrast in a general way, provided that the scene is lit by the sun in a clear blue sky and that there are shadows present that are at least partially illuminated by the open blue sky. What happens is that the shadows generally receive little or no direct light from the full-spectrum sun, but usually are illuminated by light from the broader blue sky. The shadows are rich in blue light.

    When we photograph the scene without a filter the blue light from the shadows is recorded on film strongly enough so that the shadows in the positive image are weak to moderate. But a yellow, orange, or red filter absorbs the blue light from the shadows, giving a weaker recording of the shadow areas on film. This results in a positive image with darker shadows. Since most scenes contain many tiny shadows, the result is greater contrast between the sunlit and shadowed areas. This can enhance the overall contrast by increasing the contrast of textured surfaces, such as sand, snow, gravel, the surface of brick, stone, concrete, grass, and other foliage, any shadow at least partially lit by the open blue sky.

    There is a good example photo of this idea in the Kodak Workshop book, Using Filters. It shows two otherwise identical close-up photos of a maple leaf standing nearly upright partially embedded in snow in sunlight and under a clear, blue sky (sky not visible in photo). In the first photo taken without a filter the leaf casts a weak shadow and the snow appears as an amorphous mass of white with almost no texture. In the second photo using a Kodak Wratten #15 deep yellow filter the leaf casts a pronounced shadow and the texture of the many tiny “hills and valleys” of the surface of the snow are obvious making it quite 3-dimensional in the positive image. This photo is much more interesting and satisfying than the first one.

    We already know the role of yellow, orange, and red filters in darkening a blue sky. But the darkening of shadows that are at least partially illuminated by the open blue sky to enhance foreground contrast by using the appropriate filter is often overlooked.

    The Kodak Book Using Filters is a useful guide and can still be found used, and sometime as new old stock. The price is usually modest. These can easily be found using a search string, such as “Kodak book Using Filters” in Google. The book gives good explanations and with/without example photos to illustrate the ideas. Here is one such result:

    https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/using-filters-kodak-workshop-series-the-kodak-workshop-series_eastman-kodak-company/562467/?mkwid=sZCn7b9PK|dc&pcrid=70112899992&pkw=&pmt=&plc=&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyvGYsNO52gIV2rjACh3PGgyCEAQYASABEgKLBfD_BwE#isbn=087985751X&idiq=838045
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  21. Billy Axeman

    Billy Axeman Subscriber

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    I have used a (light) yellow filter and HP5 for about two years, but my experience is that it doesn't make much difference unless there is some blue sky in the background. The disadvantage is that it will cost you one stop and pronounced clouds isn't always what you want. So recently I reverted back to UV as my standard filter when I started using Perceptol (which will also cause a loss of speed) and I don't really miss the yellow.
     
  22. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    It is a valid question. Skin tones will obey the same rules as anything else. Take a look at the Yusuf Kharsh (sp?) portrait of Hemingway for instance, those tones were from orthochromatic film but the same can be done with filters.
     
  23. OP
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    CMoore

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    Great replys...thank you all.
    I shoot HP5 and i typically am printing with 40-60 Magenta.
    But as with all things, just because one person uses XYZ and gets results of ABC, does not mean i will experience the same thing.
    I simply need to do what Billy Axeman did, and see what happens.
    Thanks Again :smile:
     
  24. Billy Axeman

    Billy Axeman Subscriber

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    An intermediate solution is to use a skylight filter. It cuts off more from the spectrum than UV but in most cases it has a filter factor 1x.
     
  25. OP
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    CMoore

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    Yeah.....Sorry. :sleeping:
    I neglected to mention that i always do have a UV Filter in my lens.
    Thanks
     
  26. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    It would be helpful in the long run to get away from gross generalities like “colored filters create contrast and darken skies” and spend some time learning color theory. One of the interesting things about human skin is it’s composed of all of the colors of the rainbow. Different skin tones will react differently to different colored filters. So will their clothes and their environment. Also, as the quality of the light changes, so will the effect of the filter on your final image. My point being, you’ll develop into a much better photographer in the long run if you learn to use the correct colored filter to achieve the results you want from the scene in front of you versus just adopting the habit of always using a certain filter.

    A good experiment to get a feel for how certain colors work would be to take a full color photo into a program like Photoshop, apply a digital colored filter to the image and then convert it to black and white (or better yet use layer masks so you can switch between them more easily). That would allow you to run through hundreds of combinations of scenes and filter colors and start to develop a general feel for how it all works in a relatively short time. Of course, it won’t come out exactly the same way as if you used a real filter and real film to shoot the scene, but it’ll be accurate enough to give you a feel for how it all works. And you’ll learn something much more useful than a gross generalization.
     
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