Introducing Sticky Filters, a simple filter system that will forever change the way you take flash pictures.
Sticky Filters are a little more sticky than a 3M Post-It note and are used to correct for the strange background colorcast of photos taken when using a flash - empowering you, the photographer, over the final "look" of your photos.
Today's computerized exposure control systems balance fill flash exposure with ambient light exposure very evenly, giving rise to a mixed color temperature in the photographs. We have all seen it - the green background and the subject's goofy yellow hair of images shot under fluorescent lighting; the orange glow of the background of images shot under tungsten light sources; even the aqua-blue color cast of images shot with a flash outdoors in the shade or under a hazy overcast sky at the beach.
Digital cameras have the unique ability to correct for these various lighting conditions by using a feature called "Auto White Balance". But only if you don't use the flash! When the flash is used it automaticly introduces a 2nd light source of a different color temperature (the white light of the flash) into the scene. Auto White Balance can only correct for one light source. But don't turn off your flash! The #1 professional photographer's trade secret is: "always use a flash", even when shooting outdoors in full sun. (Certainly, the pureists will argue.)
The MPS Stcky Filters convert the color temperature of the flash into the same color as the existing ambient light source so there will only be one color for the camera's software to correct for. The result is an image with natural looking colors throughout the scene, even where the flash didn't reach.
Until now, this flash filtering technique had been used by only the most serious professional photographers. Filter availability and issues related to attaching the filters to the flash greatly prohibited its use.
The Sticky Filters were created out of a need of one of my clients. He was reluctant to switch from film to digital because he didn't like the strange colors he was seeing from everybody else's digital images. I knew he wouldn't go for anything complicated, so being able to just "stick" the filter over the flash seemed to be the most logical answer. Little did I know that the entire photography industry was looking for the same solution.
There is a huge missconception that this color abnormality can be overcome by simply using a custom white balance. What missguided information these folks have been feed! Many reputable photographers will say they can do the same thing in Photoshop or some other software. This just goes to show you how little they actually know about photography.
Don't use Sticky Filters unless you want to take better pictures than everybody else!
I have been making predictions to my clients about the future of the professional photographic industry for quite a while now. My predictions are coming true just as expected.
The following is reprinted from an article by Larry Brownstien of RANGEFINDER MAGAZINE:
MICHELE CELENTANO, in her presentation at this year's WPPI conference, articulated a concern that is on the minds of many photographers these days: Our clients have sophisticated digital cameras that are often just as capable as ours, and with the cost of film being a thing of the past, they are experimenting more and becoming better photographers. Will they still need us in a few years? And, if they are using cameras similar to those used by professionals, how will we continue to remind and convince them of that need? Celentano's answer was to encourage her audience of professional photographers to raise their game in every way possible. Most specifically, she suggested using the best lenses, not only for the sharpness and other advantages they offer, such as the shallow depth of field that comes with a large-aperture lens, but also because of the psychological edge reclaimed when using better, more professional equipment.
Along the same lines, photographers must learn other ways to distinguish themselves.
It has been my experience that our clients can afford more and better equipment that we can. In order to make a living at photography today, you must have an upper-end clientele base. It is this group that has the resources to put our camera bags to shame.
How this relates to Sticky Filters is by the observation of the sales demographics. 80% of Sticky Filter sales are to non-professionals, weekend warrior photographer wananbees, and soccer moms. This tells me that as professional photographers, our customers are more concerned about improving the quality of their images than we are.
You are probably thinking that those people need Sticky Filters because they are not professionals, and their pictures are not as good as yours. Trust me, I run a photo lab. Their pictures are every bit as good as yours, sometimes better!
We as professional photographers have become dangerously complacent and satisfied with the quality of our photos. Sure, we are doing all the fancy Photoshop stuff, but it seems that our clients are quickly catching on to many Photoshop techniques. Even retouching can now be done with a $30.00 software program (quite well too!)
Today, more than ever, there are people charging big bucks for their photography and claiming to be "professional photographers" when in fact they don't even know what a guide number is, or why f/8 is called "f/8". For all of you that truely know your craft, Sticky filters is a tool that will help you regain your status as a top-tier player in this watered-down industry known as Professional Photography.
Are you going to let your customers take better photos than you?