The Art Of Art Filters

Recent Olympus cameras are equipped with so-called Art Filters. They are actually special effect presets which users can use to create what Olympus calls “artistically impressive” images. While many will find this convenient, I personally prefer to add any effect in post using Photoshop or similar software as I can control the parameters.

Nevertheless, the ability to create and see the effects immediately on camera is a great time (and money) saving feature. Since I am still reviewing the Olympus E-PL2, I thought I should see what the art filters can achieve on the streets…

Chinese Temple - Diorama Filter

Chinese Temple - Diorama Filter

The Diorama Filter changes the focus selectively and it also alters the colour / contrast. Processing time seems to be the longest with this filter. It can take up to 7 seconds sometimes.

Friendly Stranger - No Filter

Friendly Stranger - No Filter

I was photographing the coffee shop across the street when this gentleman stopped right in front of the camera to ask about the pancake lens. He wanted to know if it retracts. To get out of Art Filter quickly for this shot, all I had to do was to rotate the mode dial from Art back to A (Aperture Priority).

Polite Vandal - Dramatic Tone Filter

Polite Vandal - Dramatic Tone Filter

This filter is my favourite art filter but toughest to use as it appears to be as unpredictable as KL’s graffiti artists.

Wooden Clogs - Dramatic Tone Filter

Wooden Clogs - Dramatic Tone Filter

Saw these clogs outside a Chinese astrology shop in Chinatown.

Happy Rabbit Year - Grainy Film Filter

Happy Rabbit Year - Grainy Film Filter

Certain subjects lend itself well to this monochrome filter. The back lane where Pasar Karat (aka Thieves Market) is located is just as sleazy after sunrise.

Lion Dance Trouper - iEhnance Picture Mode

Lion Dance Trouper - iEhnance Picture Mode

I prefer the iEhnance Picture Mode over the Pop Art Filter as the colours appear over-saturated with the latter. Use it sparingly, if you have to.

Old Sikh Temple - Pin Hole

Old Sikh Temple - Pin Hole Filter

The result appears more like corner vignetting than pin hole. I know because I built a working pin-hole camera when I was a kid. Now, I don’t have to spend a fortune on a full frame camera to get vignetting :)

Drive-by Shooting - Dramatic Tone Filter

Drive-by Shooting - Dramatic Tone Filter

I took this photo while waiting at the traffic lights. In this case, I turned up the saturation a bit. Does it not look like an album cover?

It's A Jungle Out There - Soft Focus Filter

It's A Jungle Out There - Soft Focus Filter

How many of you remember smearing some Vaseline on a glass filter to achieve a dreamy effect? Or placing a stocking over the lens so as to soften your girlfriend’s skin blemishes? I think this filter will be least appreciated as the current generation is brainwashed into thinking that sharp is always good.

Independence Square - Dramatic Tone Filter

Independence Square - Dramatic Tone Filter

Dramatic Tone Filter seems to work best with clouds and back-lit subjects. The filter made part of the flag pole disappear into the clouds. Drama Filter :)

See also:
Bird Park with the 75-300mm | Chinatown Temple with E-PL 2 | Dong Zen Flora Fest

Tip: You can view larger versions of the images here, gallery-style. When the page finishes loading, click on any picture. Navigate via the arrows on each side of the frame.

2 thoughts on “The Art Of Art Filters

  1. Hi TVSmith!

    I’m not sure if you remember me but we met back in the days of PPS! :D

    I’ve been following your blog about the e-PL2…love it! :) Really want to get the camera soon when my next paycheck comes up.

    Any thoughts when used during lowlight?

    • Of course I remember The Little Girl then :) . Nice to know you are still blogging. I was in Kluang recently for the Rainforest Challenge. Look out for my upcoming feature on low-light use with the E-PL2.

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