"I always have a quotation for everything, it saves original thinking."
--Dorothy L. Sayers
Color filters for photography are often identified by their Wratten numbers,
but who is this Wratten guy? Wratten & Wainwright made photo materials for
commercial printing and by 1909 had established the Wratten system and published
The Photography Of Coloured Objects. In 1912 George Eastman acquired the company
and Wratten became a standard for filters used in photography, astronomy, and
This photograph was made when Great Race 2005 had an overnight
stop in Westminster, Colorado. The event is open to cars 45 years
old or older and some, like this 1931 Studebaker President convertible,
were "older." I made this photograph with a Canon
EOS 20D with an 18-55mm EF-S lens set at 18mm sitting on the ground
in front of the car while it was stopped waiting for the car in
front of it to move. Exposure at ISO 800--it was dusk when
the cars arrived--was 1/250 sec at f/9 in Program mode.
All Photos © 2005, Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved
A Great Race image like that of the Studebaker needed something
to give it an old-fashioned feel. Since I didn't use any
in camera or on-camera filters I resorted to a software filter
to produce this effect with Adobe Photoshop CS2 along with nik
Color Efex's (www.nikmultimedia.com) Old Photo: Color filter.
How About A Digital Wratten?
With the launch of Photoshop CS, Adobe (www.adobe.com)
attempted to integrate "real" camera filters into the program with
the Photo Filter command (Image>Adjustments>Photo Filter) that is located
inextricably in the Image menu and not under Filters. Only a few filters with
Wratten numbers appear in its pop-up menu, the rest are kinda generic, although
the "Underwater" filter is awesome for photographers who know the
difference between Scuba and Scooby-Doo.
With Photoshop CS and continued in CS2, Adobe added a Photo Filter
menu that included some real, along with some useful, and just
fanciful implementations of camera filters.
is a free Windows-only program that lets you apply Wratten color correction
filters to digital images, even ones originally shot on film. FilterSim's
interface sports Before and After windows and when selecting a filter from a
pop-up menu the effect appears in the After window! The program's Auto
Compensation feature corrects for the effect (a digital filter factor?) and
may be turned on or off, but all of my best images were produced with this feature
FilterSim is a "free" Windows-based program that lets
you apply Wratten color correction filters to warm up or cool
off a digital image, even one that was originally shot on film.
also offers Photo-Brush, a wonderfully inventive program that combines image
editing with artistic media painting. Version 3.5 includes raw file support
for more than 100 different cameras and not only accepts Photoshop compatible
plug-ins but reads and writes PSD files. Photo-Brush has all the expected tools
for manipulating and adjusting digital images, including Levels, Gamma, Curves,
Hue/Saturation, Brightness/Contrast, and works with Pressure Sensitive tablets
to produce texture painting. Using its Cloning tool, you can turn your photos
into paintings. Oh yeah, Photo-Brush costs $45.
MediaChance's Photo-Brush is a wonderfully inventive program
that combines image editing with artistic media painting. Version
3.5 adds raw file support for over 100 different cameras and not
only accepts Photoshop compatible plug-ins but reads and writes
Photoshop's PSD files.
Plug-In Filter Of The Month
Skin Software's Eye Candy 5: Impact (www.alienskin.com)
contains 10 plug-in filters for Photoshop and compatible programs. This third
update to Eye Candy 4000 features three new filters--Backlight, Brushed
Metal, and Extrude--and seven updated oldies but goodies. Impact works
with 16-bit and CMYK images, making color transitions smoother, with less banding.
Unlimited undo and redo make experimentation painless, while context-sensitive
Help answers your questions. Impact costs $99 but registered users get a discount
when ordering direct.
Backlight projects light beams and spotlight effects behind any selection. Bevel
carves and embosses, creating text with custom bevel shapes and textures. Brushed
Metal simulates textured metal surfaces and produces a reflective, embossed
effect, simulating chrome, liquid metal, and other shiny surfaces. Extrude gives
2D objects a 3D look, adding thickness and perspective. Glass renders a colorful
gel layer over selections and Gradient Glow creates soft glows or hard outlines
around any selection, including single colors or complex gradients. Motion Trail
creates the illusion of rapid movement, even in a curved line. Perspective Shadow
renders an array of drop, perspective, and cast shadows. Super Star generates
shapes, including stars, flowers, and gears.
Impact is a set of 10 plug-in filters for Adobe Photoshop and
other compatible programs that includes the Backlight filter that
projects light beams and spotlight effects behind any selection.