What Are Diffusion Filters and How to Use Them?

What Are Diffusion Filters and How to Use Them?

Using diffusion filters, you can soften your images and create a haze around bright objects. If you want to add a beautiful light scattering effect to your picture, I recommend you to pay attention to these special filters.

How to Use Diffusion Filters?

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Diffusion filters are used to capture a wider range of visual information without editing. The most popular genre for these filters is portrait photography. But sometimes landscape photos also work well with filters.

I recommend you to use square filters. To do this, you will need a filter holder where you have to place the filter. Using this holder, you can quickly take the filter with the right capacity to get the effect you need.

You can also use round diffusion filters. They will also give the photo a blurry effect. To use round filters, you need to take the filter and screw it to the lens. In this way, you will be able to choose a necessary filter for the desired effect in the image.

What Are Diffusion Filters Used for?

with diffusion filter or without diffusion filter

Using diffusion filters, you can make the flare in the photo merge with the shadow, making smoother transitions. As a result, the picture becomes sharper and more colorful.

Diffusion Filters Types

You can use diffusion filters to remove stains and wrinkles on models by reducing photo resolution. They are also used to increase contrast or create unique effects. There are a few types of them.

1. White Halation Diffusion Filter

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This is a type of diffuser lens filter that reduces contrast during the transition to the shadow area and maintains clear sharpness of the entire photo. I recommend using this type to mute bright colors in the shot.

2. Black Halation Diffusion Filter

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This type of diffusion filter lens can reduce small sharp details with a minimal effect on reflected and reduced flare.

Use this type of filter if you want to make the eyes and hair sharp in your portrait picture, smaller and unwanted areas of the skin to blend smoothly.

3. Warm Halation Diffusion Filter

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This filter adds a warm effect and keeps the sharpness of the photo unchanged. It creates the effect of tonal warmth that can give the image a great look. This effect can mute all the colors created by diffusion.

4. Optical Resolution Diffusion Filter

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This diffuser lens filter may reduce contrast in the full frame range. The subtlety of this filter implies that the final shots won’t have enough fog effect. The advantage of the filter is that it deals with wrinkles and thin lines on the skin.

5. Black Resolution Diffusion Filter

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These diffusion filters add a permanent softening effect with a lot of haze. Also, these filters give a clear image in focus. This will help you capture a clear photo with a beautiful effect.

6. Warm Resolution Diffusion Filter

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This diffusion filter adds light and warmth to all skin tones. Adjustment of the light in the frame can help you capture a shot with the correct white balance. This effect improves the beauty of the picture even in low light conditions and emphasizes skin tones properly.

7. Resolution and Contrast Reduction Filter

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These diffusion filters add a very essential effect for photographers – they reduce contrast when necessary. With this effect, the overall color intensity in the frame is muted. But sharpness remains unchanged in all the important areas of the photo.

8. Atmosphere Filter

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This filter can soften the frame, add thick fog and, at the same time, maintain sharpness at a high level. Contrast reduction will give the shot a mysterious and attractive effect.

What Diffusion Filters Do I Use?

lee soft filter
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If you place a diffusion filter on your camera lens, it will soften objects and create a dreamy fog. I recommend using LEE Filters. They have different capacities and I advise you to choose the ones that come in 3 pieces.

Filter number 1 provides the weakest diffusion effect and filter number 3 – the strongest. Another reason to use LEE Filters is the fact they come in 100mm square panels. So, you can use any of them with all the lenses.

How Different Are Diffusion Filters?

power difference diffusion filters

When choosing LEE Filters, you will be offered 3 options with different capacities. The greater the power indicator on the filter, the more the image will be softened and blurred. You can see how a photo will look with diffusion filters of different capacities.

Do Diffusion Filters Blur the Picture?

photo with diffusion filters

A diffusion filter allows light to get into the dark areas of the shot but it’s not blurring or defocusing. There is a decrease in contrast, which you see, as this is how the software sharpens the picture after it is taken.

The contrast is added to adjacent shadows. Vice versa, a decrease in contrast softens the picture and can often be considered blurry.

When to Use Diffusion Filters?

For shooting in portrait mode, high sharpness may not always be what you need. It often reveals “flaws” on the face and makes photo editing difficult. In this case, I recommend using a diffusion lens filter. I also advise placing a light source behind the model. The presence of light and the use of filters can eventually give a foggy effect.

Flare in the photo will merge with shadows, making smoother transitions. Filters will soften the skin.

FAQ

  • Do professional photographers use diffusion filters?

Yes, they do. Often they use diffusion filters to create a unique artistic effect. Especially if they want to add a realistic fog effect to their photos without Photoshop.

  • Where can I use diffusion filters?

You can use diffusion filters if you want to take photos in the style of the 1950-60s, namely if you want to create old black and white pictures. You can take great Hollywood portraits in a retro style with such filters, like many experienced photographers do.

  • Can I achieve this effect without using filters?

Yes, indeed, using modern programs for photo and video editing, you can add a light scattering effect to pictures. However, when using diffusion filters, you can capture and transmit a wider range of visual information without the loss that you might experience while editing pictures.

  • What are the benefits of using diffusion filters?

The effect of these filters conveys haze in the frame, which means that the filter spreads light over its entire surface. Use this to take unique portraits or retro-style shots.

Freebies that Imitate Diffusion Filters

You can improve your photos with diffusion filters using these free tools. As a result, the photo editing process will be easier and faster.

Vintage Filter Effect

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Using this action, you can make your pictures more mysterious and attractive. It will add realism and beauty to your photos.

Film Filter Effect

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This action will help you quickly edit photos by adding light and visual appeal. Apply it to portrait or couple photos.

Sepia Filter Effect

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Use this effect if you want to focus on a model without focusing on what’s surrounding him/her. It will make the picture very delicate and add a mystery to it. I recommend applying this effect to portrait photos.

Soft Filter Effect

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Using this action, you can achieve beautiful photos. It will make your photos deeper, more gentle and unique.

Matte Filter Effect

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Applying this effect will allow you to create diverse photos – romantic, dreamy, dark or gloomy. Use it to experiment and choose the right photo for this effect.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

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