Heading out into the wilderness for a photo shoot I always carry my Lee Filters with me and when the air starts to chill and I start seeing pumpkin patches pitch their tents I know to carry my collection of coral filters. That’s when I know fall season has arrived and there are colors that can use enhancements from my Lee Filters.
These filters were originally developed for filmmakers to help achieve accurate color balances with a hint of red. If you look at the film “The Godfather” you can see the effect that this coral filter can do for a moving picture. The cinematographer Gordon Willis used this type of filter in the original “Godfather” and the Lake Tahoe sequences of the sequel.
There are currently 14 different strengths of filters in the coral family, the most popular being numbers 2, 3 and 4 from this set. Each number represents one f-stop so so if you are going to photograph your image with a metering of f-stop 5.6 and a Coral 2, drop your f-stop two full steps to 2.8. That will give you the proper exposure if your metering was correct.
They make three different types of filters: standard (the color fills the entire filter), a gradient (from standard to gradient) and a stripe (goes right down the center with a gradient on top and bottom).
The standard filter is to cover the entire image, the gradient to ease into a skyline or landscape and the strip is for horizons where you only want the color on the horizon.
Coral filters give a warm and enhancing tone to the sky and when you use it on landscape you will produce inverted tones to your landscape. I own no coral filter over 6 which gives me subtle hints of changes to my work. A great way to start with this filter is to purchase the Coral Set; it comes with a coral 2, 4 and 6 graduated all of them enhancing the pinkish tones in your images.