Using a Digital Skylight Filter

Skylight filters are one of the standard on-camera filters for color photography since they remove the blue cast that appears particularly under the noonday sun. A Skylight filter also absorbs 46% of the UV radiation and atmospheric haze. Skylight filters do not necessitate a longer exposure; so many photographers use them as protection for the front element of the lens and leave them on all the time.

The digital Skylight Filter that’s part of Nik Color Efex Pro digital filter package combines the effects of both a conventional Skylight Filter that removes ultraviolet radiation (which can introduce blue colors in the image) and the effect of conventional warming filters. When applied to an image, this filter can be used to either warm an image or to remove blue casts that commonly occur in outdoor images. The most unique aspect of the Skylight Filter is the filter’s ability to adapt to the image and produce a warming effect unique to the colors in the image.

Step 1: This is the original unretouched photograph made of Saint Francis mission in Taos, New Mexico. Exposure was 1/400 sec at f/5.6 at ISO 100. ©2010 Mary Farace


Step 2: The interface for Nik’s digital Skylight filter (below) is simple and consists of one control. The strength slider controls the amount of the filter effect applied to the image. Just move to top produce the effect you like. ©2010 Mary Farace



Step 3: (Below right) Instead of simply adding red-orange to the image or isolating and removing unwanted blue colors, the nik Skylight Filter can warm all of the colors in the image in ways that produces a natural and dynamic effect. ©2010 Mary Farace

Author: Joe Farace

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