In the summer of 2005 I developed a filter to extend the types of underwater images I could take. While I was refining and testing the filter in the Red Sea, other photographers on the boat saw my images asked me not to keep the filter for myself and as a result Magic Filters was born. Magic Filters is a partnership between myself and Peter Rowlands, we sold our first filter, the original Magic, on 15th August 2005 and have now sold them to underwater photographers in more than 65 countries. Our filters are also stocked by many respected underwater photography dealers around the world. We have subsequently introduced two further filters: the Auto-Magic, which is designed specifically for digital compact cameras (and is available in internal or external mounting forms), and the Greenwater Magic, which is designed for use in green temperate waters. You can visit the Magic Filters website here to find out much more about our filters.
Despite the name, and to avoid confusion, there is no Magic. Our filters are custom recipes that we have found produce the best colors while taking digital photographs underwater. We have tried to price our filters reasonably so that all underwater photographers can afford to give this new technique a go. Magic filters start at just £19 and we can deliver filters anywhere in the world. The original Magic filter came about because there weren't then, and still aren't now, any other underwater filters which could fit behind the popular wideangle (fisheye type) lenses used on digital SLR cameras. In addition they were especially designed to work with the manual white balance facility of these cameras in blue/tropical waters. They can be used for available light still and available light video images with both compact and SLR cameras.
We were pleasantly surprised how the underwater photography community took to the filters and our biggest satisfaction has been seeing the new types of images people are producing with them. Within our first year, images taken with Magic filters appeared in numerous dive magazines, books and advertising campaigns as well as winning awards in several international competitions. In short, our filters have revolutionized available light photography underwater. One of our proudest moments was when Rand McMeins won the Best in Show and the David Doubilet Award for excellence in the underwater photography with a shot taken with a Magic filter at Beneath the Sea 2006. It really announced that Magic Filters had arrived. Have a look at the galleries for still images and more recently with many new SLRs having video capability Magic Filters have proved the best way to shoot video with these camera, see this example video shot with a Magic Filter by the backscatter team. Images taken by Magic Filters continue to be widely published, used in advertising shoots, research projects and, of course, win many photographers awards and prizes.
These pages provide an brief introduction to Magic Filters, giving you an opportunity to see some sample images taken with the filter and also examples of how these have been used in press, to read the reaction of users and see published reviews of the Magic Filter. I encourage you to join this revolution in underwater photography, to leave behind your strobes behind and see the Magic for yourself!