Yes, you may be able to replicate the look of filters in editing software such as Photoshop but carrying a few filters around in your camera bag and actually using them while you're out taking your photos can get you better results.
Want to deepen the blue of the sky? Do you need those clouds to be a little more white? Are the trees just not green enough for you? Well, you need a polarising filter. It'll also help you cut out the light bouncing off the surface of glass or water and cut down on the sheen coming off fur and skin.
Make sure the filter doesn't make the sky too dark as your shot will look a little odd with a reflection that's actually lighter than the real thing.
Don't overlook this grey coloured filter as the neutral shade means the colours in your shot won't be changed, just the overall brightness. They're useful when you're working in bright conditions and don't want the front to back sharpness you get when your camera chooses a smaller aperture due to the amount of light that's around. If you put an ND filter in front of the lens you'll be able to use the larger apertures that will give your background the blur you're looking for.
Make sure you pocket one if you're heading off to photograph some waterfalls too as it will help you get the slower shutter speeds you need to blur the movement of the water on bright days.
Graduated ND Filter
If you have problems with dark foregrounds and burned out skies try using a Graduated ND Filter which is tinted grey at one end and fades to clear at the other. By placing the grey part over your sky
you'll reduce the brightness difference between that and the foreground to give you a more even exposure. These filters come in various strengths and the overall effect will change depending on what strength filter you use.
These filters can give cooler sunrises a warm tint as they change the colour temperature of a shot, however changing the white balance setting on your digital camera can also do this as too can Photoshop.
Tobacco Graduated Filter
These give one half of the image an orange tint and can add drama to sunsets.
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