Effect of circular polarizer?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by LaFoto, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I've wondered about this for weeks now, and now I come here to ask.

    I have a circular polarizer and I sometimes even use it. Upon my asking him, my dad once said: "Try it out and you will see the effect." My problem is: I don't see it. Something might be wrong with my eyes...

    So here goes my question:

    [​IMG]

    Is the blue, blue colour of the water (which reflects the sky) the effect of this filter? Nothing was done to this picture in photoshop!
     
  2. dlc

    dlc TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Indianapolis IN
    Yes. A polorizer will darken a blue sky at the right orientation(90 degrees from the sun)so the reflection of the sky in the water will also be darker. You might be able to see the effect by pointing your camera and filter towards a bright sky with a white cloud partially in the scene and rotate the filter. The sky should darken and make the white cloud stand out even more. The sun should be at your shoulder and lens at 90 degrees
     
  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thank you, Don. No one had ever told me before that to make that filter work the sun has to be shining at a 90° angle from me, so should be either on my left or my right.

    Does it not do anything in any other case?

    And when is it more useful to just use a skylight filter and when do I really, really WANT to make use of the polarizer?
     
  4. havoc

    havoc Jedi something or other

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Portland Oregon, USA
    I don't do much color photography, but others tell me they use their polarizer all the time.
     
  5. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2003
    Messages:
    3,759
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    -36.855339, 174.762384
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hey LaPhoto,

    I live by my polarising at the moment, here's what I noticed:

    1. It works wonders on sunny days when you get alot of reflections on water, metal or anything shiny.
    2. You really have to the twist the filter to get the right effect. For instance, when i took the rainbow shots, if I didn't twist it to get the right 'setting' i couldn't see the rainbow at all, but when i did get it right the colours nearly blinded me.
    3. I know this sounds obvious, but if you are taking alot of shots that vary from vertical and horizontal perspective you will have to readjust the filter. I have taking alot of crap shots because i forgot the readjust the filter :oops:
    4. While its hard to see the effects of a polarising filter in the shot that you've taken, i find it fab for large stretches of sky and water and especially a combination of both!

    here is a sample the ksmattfish did with and w/o a filter and some good commentary how they work:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3373
     
  6. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I posted some scans of some shots I took in the late day in Sedona. You can definately tell a Polarizing filter would have done wonders with the leaves. Refer to the link of ksmattfish's post where he shows with and without. Most people think blue sky with a polarizer, but I think of green foliage. Which reminds me, I need to get one that fits my yashica.

    edit: DAMN!! It's $60-120 for a Bay 1 Polarizing filter :shock:
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    also trickier to use since it's a TLR
     
  8. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Messages:
    9,746
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Ahwatukee, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
  9. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thank you all for your replies.

    The link you provided to ksmattfish's thread on the effect of using a polarising filter makes the difference strikingly obvious. Wow!

    In the end, so I am realizing, it is like my dad said: try it out.
    So I will. I'll try the same as ksmattfish did, and do the same once with and once without the filter, for me, just so I learn to see the difference.

    Maybe you'll get to see some results sooner or later.

    (Just one more remark: the sky in some of the photos that the second link provided showed me [thanks for that one, too, for the time being it's in my marker] are as deeply blue as the sky in the one photo of my son in which he's drinking water from a bottle - does anyone remember it? It's in "Themes" under "Food and Drink". But at that time, I did not even OWN a filter!!! So how..........?)

    (And how would I give you a LINK to that thread where the photo I'm talking about is to be seen? Ah, I'm having an idea, let's try this out:
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3728&sid=caef0266f2df9dd2f6754ad913be69af)
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    As has been mentioned, look for the changing effect on the sky, water, reflections on glass, and foliage (easier to see on bright sunny days). It's harder than people think to accurately assess what you are seeing through that little tiny viewfinder. I make compositional mistakes much less often when viewing on a ground glass or LCD screen.
     
  11. nukie

    nukie TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I can't speak with great authority on nature photography and circular polarisers, but when photographing cars, it makes huge differences.

    [​IMG]

    These two photos show the changes that occur with and without circlar polarisers. Whilst neither is a particular great photograph, the one with the circular polariser (top one) has far less glare, and the shadow across the bonnet has practically disappeared.

    Anyway, I won't keep analysing, but suffice to say, circular polarisers are good.
     

Share This Page