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New Idea - The Filter Competition
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:19 am    Post subject: New Idea - The Filter Competition Reply with quote

In another Thread the idea for a dedicated "filter a week competion" was born and I would like to share my thoughts for it here and get the feedback from the forum, ift here is interest to get it started.

Background:
The high period of manual lenses from the 70ies to the late 80ies also saw the hey day of the Filter. Filters were used and produced in large number and new concepts and manufacturers like Cokin came onto the Market.
There might be a number of enthusiasts who not only collect the lenses from this period but also the filters offerd, many of which are discontinued in the menatime.

The Competition:
- The overall goal of the competition is to show what filters can do for us in the digital ageand also assess which of them make sense to use.
- I think a two weekly rolling competion cycle would be realistic. The topics should be anounced well in advance, so that there is enough time to use the filter in question or even acquire it.
- We should have a shedule of at least four competition topics at all times.
- During the two "live weeks" people should upload pictures made with the filter.
- We choose a winner and he can add another topic at the end of the announced list.

What do we want to achieve.
1) have fun
2) tinker with our gear
3) have some friendly interaction on the forum.

4) We could also get a feeling from the postings and the decriptions of the posted filters:
- if they make sense in the digital age
- how difficult is it to replace them by post-processing (one click to many hours of work)
- any new techniques or usage cases fo the filter

What we do NOT want

-any discussion whether it makes sense to use filters or rather use photoshop. There are ten gazillion diiscussions already out there. ANYTHING can be completele rendered from scratch in Photoshop. Nearly every Car advertisement these days is FULLY synthetic.
The use of a filter that is letterally one click in post processing is debatebale. But this competition is about things that are done right "the moment it clicks, and do not need 100 hours of post processing/rendering.

ANY discussion gyrating into the fundamental filter/post processing discussion direction and not be a practical use discussion should be ruthlessly deleted by the admins from the competiition. (and /or moved to other apropriate places.)

Please share your interest and suggestions if any here


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very very much in favour of this. Smile
Would love to learn more about vintage filters, and I want to become proficient in their use. (Not least for my video work)

My only worry is the requirement to actually buy a specific filter. Would that not cause issues with cost for the rarer/weirder filters?
Would it be more inclusive for people to choose their own filter and use it as they see fit for a specific theme, or idea suggested by the competition? This can then lead to a broad overview of all the strange and wonderful filters out there.

Or maybe the competition is simply a bi-weekly photography compo: "Best/most interesting photo that showcases a specific filter's abilities". That should produce some interesting results...


Anyway, just thoughts. I am also happy to just go with your suggestion. Smile

Thanks for starting this thread!


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good points let's get more opinions


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd love to participate, and although I wouldn't like to be excluded from a challenge because I don't own a filter or plan to buy one, I do like the idea of everyone trying to make something beautiful with comparable tools. Perhaps we can find a combination when we work in categories like

Coloured filters
ND grads
Coloured graduated filters
Prisms
Star filters
Diffusers
etc.

But it will mean that we run out of filters / ideas sooner than when we do a challenge with a specific filter.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that is a good idea and we could start with broader categories. Later we can repeat them or get narrower as participants see it developing best. I do think that you get more ideas for use on the way so repetition of categories is probably not a bad thing.

Also I think that many of the example pictures in the manufacturers websites and brochures do not always show the best use of a given filter.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good to me Smile


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right after reading about this competition, I went out tonight with my circular polarizer to take some dramatic shots of the sunset, but by the time I logged off, got my boots on and unlocked my bike it was all over.

Time to re-think


PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's go for it Bernhard.... Cool


PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what will be the first category we pick? Or do we want to make a list of categories first?


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What defines a filter ?. Anything placed in front of a lens that allows transmission of light or does it have to be a commercially mfg. item?/


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say things that allow light to fall on the sensor/film that have an impact on the image. I would say that a piece of welding glass is just as much of a ND filter (albeit not completely neutral density, but the goal is the same) as an ND filter from the shop.
This definition would almost exclude UV filters for digital cameras, but lets say they increase the possibility of flare and decrease sharpness Wink

I do have an additional question though, some filters need post-processing to really work, like the coloured polarizers we discussed recently (http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic,p,1400632.html#1400632). Do we allow post-processing?


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote






Lightblaster projected filters ? Y/N


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to get lost in semantic discussions about what constitues a filter, but one thing we need to keep in mind is how feasible it is for everybody to participate, and how likely it is that people can show interesting uses.

PP is perfectly fine in my opinion, and if people overuse that it will simply be reflected in their entry's popularity, right?

My personal interest is in strange/retro/experimental/interesting filter effects that I can easily incorporate in my photography and film work.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rudolfkremers wrote:
I don't want to get lost in semantic discussions about what constitues a filter, but one thing we need to keep in mind is how feasible it is for everybody to participate, and how likely it is that people can show interesting uses.

PP is perfectly fine in my opinion, and if people overuse that it will simply be reflected in their entry's popularity, right?

My personal interest is in strange/retro/experimental/interesting filter effects that I can easily incorporate in my photography and film work.

You get my vote. Very Happy
Well put.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry from being absent from this discussion for some time.

Thinking about the comments, I have the feeling that there is interest in filters and their possible usefulness in today's environment.
Maybe the competition angle should be lighter.
Post processing is acceptable (it is part of the workflow) but should not become the center piece of the attention. Some filter might only be useful with some post processing.
I think the question what is a filter is also a good one and we should have room to interpret it widely. A "strange things in front of my lens" theme would be fun!
Kryss use of a lightblaster is very creative but as the "filter" is in front of the light source rather then the taking lens I would say that it is ordinarily even outside the not very strict filter definition. However there is nothing against having a lightblaster theme at one point?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My new draft suggestion is:
changes in bold

The Competition:
- The overall goal of the competition is to show what filters can do for us in the digital age and also assess which of them make sense to use.
- I sill think a two weekly rolling competition cycle would be realistic. The topics should be announced well in advance.
- The topics can be wider in nature including groups of filters
- We should have a schedule of at least four competition topics at all times. That leaves time for people to prepare.
- During the two "live weeks" people should upload their competition entries.
- An entry should have at least an end result and a short description about the technique/workflow used. A mini review, before and after pictures and making of pictures are optional but welcome.
- We choose a winner and he can add another topic at the end of the announced list.

What do we want to achieve.
1) have fun
2) tinker with our gear
3) have some friendly interaction on the forum.
4) We could also get a feeling from the postings and the descriptions of the posted filters:
- if they make sense in the digital age
- how difficult is it to replace them by post-processing (one click to many hours of work)
- any new techniques or usage cases for the filter

Friendly, tolerant and wide interpretation of the participation is expected.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A possible list of of themes (in no particular order)

- Coloured filters
- ND grads
- Coloured graduated filters
- Prisms
- Star filters
- Diffusers
- Lightblaster
- Strange things in front of the lens
- Polarizers
- Softeners
- Diffraction filters
- Discontiuned filters
- Effect and Trick/Filters
- UV and IR Filters
- Close up lenses
- Variable filters
- DIY
- Unusual technique

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Lets go ahead and build a list !

I suggest that everybody in the thread picks a theme for the initial list of themes. (Can be from above or something not above in the same spirit)

We execute them in the order of original posting
"Newcomers" are welcome and will be added to the initial list in order of appearance.
Winners add to the themes of the initial list once we are started.

1) Rudolf
2) Koen
3) Phil
4) Kryss
5) Gary
6) Bernhard

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Any thoughts as to the format are also welcome at any point of time. Very Happy


PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it ok to suggest general themes, where people can use whatever filter they see fit?

So for example: "Alien Landscape" where people can interpret that however they want, as long as they use a filter to achieve the theme?

Smile


PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say yes


PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bernhardas wrote:
I would say yes


Then that's my theme suggestion. Wink


PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernhard..I like the last one (unusual technique), coming from 50+ years back in the good old days I would put anything in front of lens to see results as did not have much money and most went on film therefore had to improvise. Nobody should have to go out and buy filters just to enter this comp. Just think of all the possibilities.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A cheap (free) source of filters is a sample pack of lighting gels from theatre lighting companies. They're smaller / narrower than a Cokin A, but you can use just the one at top/bottom to mimic a sharp cut-off sky or foreground filter or even slot two or three in the holder to give full coverage.
Then, of course, there's always the various coloured cellophane wrappers that food or clothing comes in, as I used to use when I was too young and skint to buy some of those fancy shop-bought filters, back in the day.


PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good tip I use them sometimes handheld to control the effect