When I bought my first lens, I also purchased a UV filter to go along with it. I had no idea what it was actually for, just that Matthew Saville, who was showing me some photography skills, told me a horror story where he dropped his lens and the filter and lens hood were the only things that kept him from a costly repair visit. So, I dutifully purchased one and never took it off.

photo-filters-feat-702x336

When I began learning a bit more about photography, I realized that there were many types of filters that did numerous things to enhance a photograph. A favorite tool for landscape photographers, filters can produce some beautiful effects. Though some photographers choose to not spend the extra money and try to get those effects in Photoshop, there are some things that just can’t be replicated in post as well as the real deal.

[REWIND: SIMPLE TRICK FOR LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY WITHOUT USING A FILTER]

With the different types of filters out there – protective, UV, polarizing, neutral density, hard and soft edge and reverse graduated neutral density, color, and more, what filter gives you which effect and when do you use them? This handy infographic, The Photography Filters Cheat Sheet, can help. Created by The Studio at zippi.uk.co, who brought us other handy infographics such as this one for manual photography, the infographic shows us what each filter does and how it affects your photo. This is definitely one to bookmark the next time you’re shopping for a filter (or buying a lens and looking for more than just protection!)