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To Filter or not to Filter, that is the question.

Some people get sniffy about using pre-set filter Apps for the shots taken on smartphone........ some people, but not me.

They argue that these filters are far too ubiquitous, create pictures that look the same, and are a lazy and unimaginative replacement for creativity and originality.

For me though they are just another tool in my creative toolbox. Knowing when to use them (and which ones to use) takes skill and is all part of the fun. Yes, they can make all photos look the same but do you know what, sometimes that's exactly what I want - a series a pictures that are cohesive and have a common theme over and above the subject matter. The right filter used on the right shot can help add to the story you're trying to tell or the mood you're trying to create. Of course you shouldn't forget about the basics of photography such as light, subject matter and composition (never use a filter as an excuse to make a bad photo good - it won't work). A filter should be an enhancement to your shot.

Somebody once said, when asked what's the best camera - "....its the one you have with you." I believe what they mean is its not the camera that takes a great shot, its the photographer using whatever tools they have at their disposal, and I think this principle can just as well be applied to filter Apps as anything else.

The following shots were taken on my iPhone and uses the Hipstamatic App. It was a foggy morning and I used this particular style to add to the etherial feel that the scene suggested. I particuarly like the way the final images have the look of a painting rather than a photograph.

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