Monday, 30 January 2012

Filtered or Unfiltered?

No, this isn't a blog post on how you prefer your cigarettes  :-)

The more I shoot with the Olympus EP-3, the more I find myself using an Art Filter (or two). My favourite has to be the Dramatic Tone Filter, because the images are, well, so darn dramatic! In fact, I'm so used to shooting with this filter now, that I've begun to use the 'filter bracketing' feature of the EP-3. Long story short - enable 'filter bracketing' in the bracketing menu, choose which filters to include in the bracket sequence (as many as you want!), and then take a 'normal' picture in the mode of your choice (that would be A for me). The camera takes a normal image, and then applies any of the art filters that you've checked to the image to create a new, art filter file. Brilliant!

The 'normal' jpeg image in vs the Dramatic Tone filter shot. Which do you prefer?
Up until now I've been fiddling about with the art filters and applying them whenever I felt like it - or remembered to. But with the ability to 'bracket' the filters so they are applied to each and every shot, I now get the best of both worlds. Because quite often it's not a matter of one or the other - I actually end up liking all of them.

Side by side comparison again. 
I only have the 'dramatic tone' filter added to my bracketing sequence, so I still have to go into the Art Filter mode if I want to apply any others. I could add Grainy Black and White, Pop Art, and Diorama to the bracketing sequence ( the other art filters I use a lot), but this adds time to the processing of the image - each takes a second or two to apply. The great thing about applying the filters as a bracket though, is that you also get an 'original' normal file - something you don't get when you shoot specifically in the Art Filter Mode. So bracketing of art filters, even if it's just your favourite one, is worth it.

The Price we Pay. Olympus EP-3, Dramatic Tone filter.
And finally - above is a shot I've been meaning to get for quite a while. I had heard about this little petrol (gas) station that had a sign up stating that petrol was an 'Arm and a Leg'. It's in a tiny town about 40 minutes drive from where I live, but I don't really get out there all that often. I had also heard that they had taken the sign down, so I presumed I had missed the opportunity.

Fortunately, we had to take a drive out that way last weekend, and I took the camera just on the off chance there would be some good images to be had (all the images from this post were taken on the same day). Couldn't believe my luck when we passed the station and my wife told me the sign was back up! Always great to find someone with the same warped sense of humor as me!?


  1. I like the effect of the tone filter, i once & awhile play with the ND/ fader on my lens & get really good results! I just read your blog from July 2010 refering to the Minolta 35-70mm f/4 & enjoyed your artical.. Im currently using that exact setup. I love the Minolta colors & sharpness.

  2. Glad you like the Minolta 35-70 f4. It's a great lens.


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