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Why should I use Cokin filters for my Digital Photos?
With the new age of digital photography many people have moved away from using effects filters in the belief that they can recreate the same effects in editing applications such as Photoshop. Although you can achieve some excellent results in Photoshop, it can be an extremely time consuming process and not all effects are possible. Many people simply do not want to spend valuable time sat in front of a PC enhancing an image that could have been shot with the desired effect simply by adding an Cokin effect filter.
Graduated Filters: With digital cameras it is very easy to lose all of the detail in the sky of a landscape shot, especially in bright situations so that it appears totally white in the final image. In this situation there is often no detail left in the sky to be "enhanced" on your PC. If a graduated ND filter was used or even a Graduated Colour filter, this would lower the amount of light captured by the CCD in the sky area so that detail in the clouds etc can be seen. The coloured graduated filters can also add subtle or dramatic colours to enhance your landscape. Polarising Filters:
Polarising filters are so simple to use but can create amazing changes to images which simply cannot be "recreated" in editing programs. Rich blue skies with white fluffy clouds, simply created by turning the rotating filter to the appropriate angle that increases contrast in a sky, removing reflections from Water and glass to capture your subject in detail where it may not have been properly visible before.
Neutral Density: If you needed a long shutter speed, but had too much light, an ND filter would be ideal. For example if you were photographing water and wanted to capture the movement you would need a long exposure. An ND filter achieves this by cutting the amount of light entering the lens so reducing the available shutter speeds to create the required effect. Once again this simply cannot be done on your PC without faking the effect with the time consuming application of many tools and a lot of trial & error. There are many other Cokin filters that achieve results that you can not re-create in Photoshop as well as many that you can, but the most important thing to remember is the time it would take to try to recreate these effects using your computer. With Cokin it takes no time at all to drop a filter in front of your lens to achieve an effect and with digital photography you can now see instant results on the cameras LCD screen.
You could spend hours playing around with images in editing programs, simply to get a result which could have been captured instantly with a Cokin filter.