orange filter example

How to use an orange filter for the best results in black and white photography

Black and white photography is profound and dramatic. There is nothing more than composition, shadows, and perfect exposure in a black and white photo. There is no color to fill the gaps. Doing a black and white photography directly from your camera (without post-processing) is an art form in its self (take Adam Ansel for example). But sometimes what in colors looks very textured and sharp, in gray barely lets you see a thing. This is because different shades of colors can have the same amount of gray. Here comes in the colored filter.

A colored filter gives priority to its own color of light. This means that you’ll have bright areas where the scene meets the filter’s color and darker areas for other colors of the scene. The colored filter can be red, orange, green, yellow, and blue. They improve the contrast of your shot and help you compose a perfect photo. Using one or another colored filter is your choice. If you are trying them for the first time, give one of general purpose filters like orange or yellow a shot.

Why the orange filter is the best choice

The orange filter is an all-purpose colored filter. It is between red and yellow and combines the best in both of them. The orange filter improves contrast, letting in the shades of yellow, orange, and red and blocking out blues and greens. But it is smoother than the red one and bolder than the yellow one.

Where to use the orange filter

The orange filter is by far the best-colored filter for portraits. The skin tones are perfectly matched with its color. Moreover, the orange filter will do a makeover by itself. No freckles, wrinkles, or spots. The result is a perfect skin that will flatter any lady. Using the orange filter you’ll catch the emotion, the expression, and the poetry. It is perfect for weddings. Black and white photography is romantic and dramatic at the same time.

The orange filter is also good for architecture photography. Using an orange filter exposes the shades of brown, beige, and other specific materials colors. It gives straight lines, texture, and depth. It is perfect for old medieval cities, with a lot of bricks and antiquated walls.

Being an all-purpose filter, the orange filter can be used for landscapes and flowers also. It will improve contrast and highlight specific parts of the scene.


It can be difficult to use in summer forests (with a lot of greens) or in seaside landscapes but don’t be afraid to try. A little drama can help bring your photo to life.

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