To many photographers a filter is a philosophers stone that transmutes leaden scenes into golden photographs. To others a filter is not an alchemists dream but a real and precise tool that allows fine color tuning of light. In reality filters are both magical and mundane. Magical in that some of the effects can be done only by sleight of optics. Mundane in that the effects are wholly practicalthat of making a better photograph. The variety of filters is great. Their uses are many. Well help you: understand how filters work, choose filters for black and white photography, improve the color in your pictures, use creative color filtering, add special effects to your pictures, make your own filters.