Polarizer use in photography

There is only one Wonderland, but let's also talk about and share photos of other national parks.

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tlveik
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:59 pm

Polarizer use in photography

Post by tlveik » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:26 am

The use of a polarizer in photography came up in another thread so I thought I'd start a thread for just that topic.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=448
This thread has photographs that used a polarizer to remove reflections from the surface of water.

A polarizer is also very useful in enhancing the color of the sky and foliage. Here are two pictures showing that effect. The only difference between these two pictures is that one uses a polarizer and the other doesn't. The effect is very dependent on where the sun is in the sky.

Image

Image

Tom



mdtrot
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: East Texas

Re: Polarizer use in photography

Post by mdtrot » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:09 am

Thanks, great pic. The problem I have sometimes had when using my polarizing filter is that it often darkens the whole image too much, even when I try to compensate the exposure for that. It also will cause a longer exposure unless I change iso, so I also have to take that into account.



tlveik
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:59 pm

Re: Polarizer use in photography

Post by tlveik » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:10 pm

That's true. A polarizer will darken a picture some if you don't compensate with either increased aperture, increased ISO or increased exposure time. I think about 1 or 2 stops of extra exposure is needed. Most modern cameras should be able to do that automatically though with automatic exposure.

Your camera may also have an adjustment called exposure-compensation which can add a fixed amount of extra exposure to each shot.

Tom



tlveik
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Re: Polarizer use in photography

Post by tlveik » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:29 pm

I just checked the exposure difference in the EXIF data on these two pictures and it is only 1/3 stop different. I am surprised actually that it was only that much.

Tom



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Max
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Re: Polarizer use in photography

Post by Max » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:06 am

I'm cracking up a bit, because I remember a thread on the old version of this forum that turned pretty nasty, and the topic was polarizers (someone insisted they should be kept on all the time, and took offense when others disagreed).

This is a nice illustration of the difference it can make when used effectively, Tom. Thanks for sharing.

Max



Mike W.
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:11 pm

Re: Polarizer use in photography

Post by Mike W. » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:54 am

I'm a National Parks enthusiast, which of course includes Yellowstone, who takes a lot of pictures. Many friends, family and coworkers rave about them, but I'm acutely aware I take nice snapshots, I'm not a photographer like Max, and others. But since I do little tweaking and no PS, I think many of the complements I get are at least partly due to using a polarizing filter. While it distorts it in a sense, somehow it's closer to what I remember than without it. Not necessarily more accurate, but closer to what I think I saw and remember.

Granted equipment makes just a little bit of difference, but going back to the Kodak Instamatic days of P and S, I'd take pictures that I thought were just jaw dropping. I'd get them back from the drug store and it was my stomach that dropped, not my jaw. On occasion I'd even get back to where I thought would be stunning pictures and the print wasn't that far off from real life. But nowhere near what my memory recalled.



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