Cross-Polarization Flash Macro Photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Overread, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    http://www.naturescapes.net/042004/wh0404.htm

    this is an interesting idea for dealing with flash and highlights in macro work. Using a polarizer not only on the lens, but also on the flash itself. I haven't had a chance to try this out, but its definatly something that I would like to have a go at!
    Whilst the frog in the example looks a little too dry from the effect, I think it would be great on shiny insects (unless your going for that dawn dewdrop look)
     
  2. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmm, nice fine! I've seen something like this before, but not with 2 flashes, just one flash with a polarising filter and a CPL on the lens to show the stresses in plastic.

    Looks like something to keep in mind though. I don't do macro stuff but it's good to see how it works. It does look a little flat like you say, though - perhaps even losing a bit of detail?

    I would have thought even a small diffuser on each flash would have worked nicely? relative size to the subject etc?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I am sure it would work for a single flash setup - or even a ringflash setup.
    Some creative editing might also bring back the punch into the shots (boosting contrast) whats interesting is that in both examples it does show up more details in the shot
     
  4. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yeah there's more detail in the leaf shot.. can't really tell but parts of the frog don't look so good.

    Think i'll try the single flash setup, something to do!
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    yep - it might also be the dual polarizers - using one (say only a flash or only a lens) might allow a happy meduim between the two
     
  6. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yeah, i think it'll take a bit of chimping etc.

    I had a little go with one flash (with polariser) and a polariser on the lens. flash 45 degrees from lens. I tried it through some glass as i thought it may be useful to take away glare and therefore be able to use flash through glass a lot more. I put some fingerprints etc on the glass, too!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It does take away glare but some detail is lost in the pig above the eye.. It almost has a real weird diffusion effect.
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Interesting result. Its really nerfed the details on the pig, but its brought out a lot of lost detail in the darker patches of the clippers and the bag appears hardly affected at all. It might be the nature of the plastic on the pit possibly.
    How does it turn out after a bit of editing - say boosting contrast?
     
  8. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not much improvement to be honest. I think you're right though, I think light is shining through the pig so filling in some shadow areas from inside?
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    might be - its a tricky subject. Be interesting to see how this works on an insects shell though - it might work out better there since its more like the surface of the clippers than that of the pig.
    go forth and find bugs ;) :)
     
  10. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'll leave the bugs to the experts! :lol: It is interesting though, It'll be good to see more examples and feedback from people that actually use it regularly - I think it'll take some getting used to to get the results you're looking for and how it affects other aspects of the image.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    true - just turning the angle of the polarizer to get differing amounts might give vastly different results and there might be a happy medium. Sadly I lack both polarizer (for my macro) and insects at this time of year (mostly there are those around but its chilly out ;))
     

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