Atmospheric Filters

Our final look at diffusion examines emotional or atmospheric filters, which are really a sub-set of halation filters.

While there is a great deal of crossover between the various forms of diffusion – as so magnificently displayed by Tiffen’s triangle of diffusion which permits you to select from the effects you want and hone in on your perfect option – atmospheric filters stand out for their overt use of fogging or smoke like effects.

Schneider’s classic softs are at the more subtle end of this effect. As you can see on this progression, the effect of the filter is to give a slightly mysterious and misty quality to the shot – perhaps most noticeable in the practical light sources, for instance the torches. Unfiltered, this gives distinct rays which by the heaviest density of filter have a fuzzy halation much like a lamp appearing through light mist. This is despite the overall clarity of the shot and the resolution of the actors’ expressions seeming to remain very high. The result, as per the name, is an atmospheric improvement in the shot.

More pronounced atmospheric effects can be achieved with filters such as Tiffen’s pro-mist and fog range.

Pro-Mist black and white halation options are so popular precisely because they recreate the sultry, smokey looks of classic cinema.

Why bother with the unpredictable and frankly unpleasant fuss of a haze machine when you can recreate the look in a precise fashion with a simple piece of glass? No coughing actors, no waiting around, no nasty chemicals. Just a perfect smokey shot.

And of course the same can be said of trying to recreate weather conditions.

Dreamy, misty atmospheric conditions can be perfectly controlled with Pro-mist or Fog filters.

atmospheric filters

An ordinary dawn becomes a Dickensian cityscape with mist and murk on tap. Whether Black Pro-mists as above or fog below, the landscapes are rendered etherial and fantastic without needing to wait for the co-operation of the heavens or the effects department.

atmospheric filters




Tiffen 1/2 strength fog.

In the next post we’ll move on to look at diopters but for more information on our range of diffusion filters and to make an enquiry, check out our full range here.