I read an article years ago in Outdoor Photographer about using a diffusion filter+warming filter+high ISO to get an interesting look for mid-day photography. Might have been a Bob Krist article, seems like the examples were from an Italy trip. The effect was sort of grainy, journalistic, but in color. I’ve adapted the technique for a night look I like, particulary in scenes with a lot of low-level point sources. Think Christmas lights. This D70 image was hand-held, high ISO, with a Cokin diffusion filter, and was one of my favorite images from the 2005 holiday season. I did some similar stuff last week on Photowalk. There are all sorts of DIY diffusion filter ideas out there, like old pantyhose or vaseline on an old haze filter, but yuck, who wants to carry grease in the camera bag? That’s asking for a mess. This plastic rectangle comes in a nice little plastic box, can carry it around in my pocket even when I’m going light, just for effect. It can be pretty fun, once I get past the idea of taking thousands of dollars of optics out and purposely blurring that crisp image. A lot of fun, in fact.