Have you ever looked at a scene and thought it was just a bit too sharp, almost harsh? It can be overwhelming, right? But, at the same time, you don’t want to make your shots blurry in an attempt to soften things up. Well, that’s where diffusion filters come in.

If you’re not familiar with diffusion filters, they are a type of camera filter that can add a dreamy, hazy effect to your photos without sacrificing contrast or sharpness. They work by bending some of the light rays that pass through them, causing them to spread out and become defocused. This creates a soft, hazy look around bright objects in the scene and can also lift the shadows slightly.

You might have heard that diffusion filters can give your work a cinematic look, and that’s definitely true. They can replicate the feel of old-time movies, with their lenses, lighting, film, and even the use of nets over lenses.

In this video, I’ve taken the filter to Joshua Tree and tested it out on my Canon EOS R6 camera with a 40mm lens. How would it react to street lights versus a lamp? How does it perform on LED versus a tungsten light? 

In addition to adding a nostalgic feel, diffusion filters can also make an image feel further away or like a memory. The softer feel that they create can really add to the atmosphere of a photo.

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