It seems lots of people on CiC are struggling with the use of filters. Therefore, this thread.
Eons ago (well, it seems like eons) when I used to shoot film, I would haul around camera bags, several cameras loaded with different film speeds and have bags/pockets full of filters and other accessories. While I was young and strong, I still felt like a little pack-mule and of course, always had to think way ahead in order to shoot with the correct camera/film/filter.
With the advent of digital photography that all changed. First, the need to have different film speeds, since the digicam permits the adjustment of ISO for every picture. Therefore, few people find it necessary to carry more than 2 cameras.
Second: PS processing software has come a long, long way within just the last couple of years. These days it is possible to simulate the look of almost any filter and then some via software.
Today, I generally only use a good UV filter to protect my lenses and apply filter effects in the digital Darkroom during PS processing. Why? Because, I like complete control and I prefer not having to remove filter effects that do not work out. Case in point: The ubiquitous polarizing filters. Often the polarizers turn the sky a bizarre blue in one area, especially on wide-angle lenses, an effect that is a pain to remove via PSP! Polarizers also saturate a bit much for my taste in many cases. NDs: These sometimes produce colour casts. If the dynamic range is too much for the sensor, then I would take multiple, bracketed shots and combine these as an HDR. Even infrared effects can be done via PS processing.
Star filters are another thing with which I have a love/hate relationship. While I love the effect, these tend to soften the rest of the image. Then again, perhaps a 4, 6, 8 or other point filter might have been better? All of that can easily be done in PS processing with a filter brush.
What is your opinion? Do you use traditional or digital filters and why? Which software do you prefer for filter effects? Show us some examples of your work with either traditional or digi-filters.