Sunset Grad Filter
All 'special effects' filters should be used with caution but with a bit of thought and planing they can result in some interesting images. Take this sunset which I shot using a tobacco grad filter for example.
Have you ever been somewhere and thought it'd look great with a sunset - but the sun won't set where you ant it to? But don't just think you can pop on a sunset filter, take the pic and it'll look great!
You still have to think about the light. If for example you're at a great location around the middle of the day the shadows will be short and downward and the photo will look all wrong because of that. Even with a filter you still need good light.
There's no disguising that this was shot with a filter, but when I took this photo the sun was setting off to my left and some of the lovely red glow was lighting up the house and side of the boat which makes it look more natural than doing it when I found the place at mid day.
7 Blocks of Photography is highly recommended. I spend a lot of time in the outdoors and this course has taught me to think like a photographer, which of course helps my photography greatly, but also taught me how to "see" and this point is useful in my outdoor activities such as hiking and backpacking, appreciating the outdoors more than ever.