3 ESSENTIAL Lens Filters Every Outdoor Shooter NEEDS to Own (VIDEO)

Landscape shooters are known for carrying a lot of gear, and that typically includes a wide selection of filters. Today we’ll help lighten your load, by revealing three filters a top pro says “every photographer should own.”

As you probably know, filters are available in two basic forms. The most common are round, and they simply thread onto your lens. Another option is square or rectangular filters that attach to a holder that’s first mounted on the lens. 

Both styles of filter have their pros and cons, and the type you choose depends upon your personal preference and budget. In the video below, instructor Jay P, Morgan explains the three filters he never leaves home without. While he uses the holder-mounted variety, most of his comments are equally applicable to round filters.

Keep keep in mind that while Morgan is discussing how and when to use these “must have” tools for landscape photography, they’re also useful for shooting architecture and other types of outdoor images. As he says, “I always have these filters with me whether I’m on a boat, plane, bike, or backpacking.”

The top filter on Morgan’s list is a circular polarizer, that eliminates unwanted reflects, darkens pale blue skies, and is helpful for obtaining saturated colors. He has several helpful tips for using a polarizer, increasing or reducing the effect by rotating the filter, and making the most of this tool when shooting at sunrise or sunset.

Morgan also swears by graduated filters, and he typically carries two: one with a three-stop medium gradation that’s clear at the bottom, and another with a stronger effect. His third top pick is what’s known as  “reverse gradated” filter, and if you wonder when you’d using something like that, take a look at this episode and find out.

There are links to the filters mentioned in this episode in the description beneath the video. And be sure to visit Morgan’s popular YouTube channel for more helpful advice.

We suggest you also check out the tutorial we posted from another pro, with five beginner tips for shooting epic outdoor photos at night.