A few months back I saw some stunning examples of photography online using real world filters – think photos taken through frosty windows, pieces of sea glass, or anything that allows the user to shoot “through” the object, in-turn severely altering the final photograph.
In a modern world full of fancy camera lens filters and post-processing filter options, I found the idea of a hand’s on DIY filter version appealing. Unfortunately, I struggled to make time to experiment with different objects while simultaneously taking more-traditional pictures for the blog. After all, we need to be able to show the places we talk about here and a post full of artistic or experimental shots doesn’t really meet this requirement.
However, during our stay in Liverpool we found ourselves living large on the seventh floor of a downtown hotel in a room that consisted of two stunning walls of enormous windows. Not only was the view breathtaking from this vantage point, but when a gruesome storm rolled into town on our second day in the city, the windows provided a great opportunity to play around photographing through the raindrops and onto the buildings below.
The end result is a blurry outline of downtown Liverpool at sunset, with the raindrops and condensation of the foreground in focus. In all honesty, this picture feels more like Liverpool to me than any of the others I shot during our visit. Cold, out of focus, a bit disjointed, yet with a hint of brilliant colour and a feeling of hope – looking at this picture takes me back to the UK immediately.
Although I could have added most of the effects in this shot using post-processing software like Photoshop, I had so much more fun using the window as a filter and playing around with the angles and my camera settings. This is definitely a form of photography I hope to continue to work with in the future!
For more examples of real world filters, check out this Pinterest board by freelance writer Mike Sowden!