Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums >

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 5, 2011, 11:41 AM   #1
Senior Member
daz's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 436
Default Polarizers – Lighthouse

This is a photo of an old lighthouse. I know it doesn’t look much like a house but that is because the point (the place to put the light) was on a mud flat. The house (the place the keeper lived) is behind me on good dry land. So what is here is just the light. Some time later the CG come in and had the mud filed in so now it is a park with grass.

Now on to the polarizer part. I use a polarizer often but I usually only take the photo I want using the polarizer not a photo both ways so this was a little different. A polarizer can be used to reduce a refection but it can also be used to isolate the refection you want from those you don’t. It can be used to not only darken the sky and water but also make other thing look brighter. In this case it increases the contrast. For this photo I cheated a little. I did not remove the polarizer I just rotated it to show the deference. In general if you put a polarizer on you will get a 1 stop reduction in exposer. This is true if the light is all equally random in polarization. But if more of the light is of 1 polarization then the others you can get more then 1 stop.

These two photos are just out of the camera (the only PP was resizing). The photo that I turned the polarizer to reduce the sky/water reflections is at 1/400 and the one that shows all the sky/water reflections is at 1/640. This is about a ˝ stop difference. If I had taken the polarizer off it would have been over 1 ˝ stops. In this photo the use of a polarizer is not to just make the sky/water reflections less but helps the lighthouse look whiter and the mountains stand out more.

As a rule having the sun 90 degrees to what you are trying to use a polarizer on is true but fare from always the only time to use a polarizer. In this photo the sun was almost behind me. I have found that for me the best way to know when to us a polarizer is (when it is sunny of course) to ware polarized sunglasses. I have a pear I ware for photography. With just a little tilt of my head or a quick flip up I can see if a polarizer maybe a good idea. I have found the best places to get good polarized sunglasses are where they cater to fishermen. Some place like the Bass Pro shop or Cabela's. You can get some extremely good (and extremely expensive) sunglasses there but you don’t need that expensive just a good pair. The one I have are only about $25. I would recommend for photography going with glasses that are color neutral.

Attached Images
Painting is an additive art. The artist adds to the canvas until they stop with their version of reality. Digital photography is subtractive art. First we throw away 90 percent of reality then remove what is left bit by bit until we have only the reality we wish to show. Flickr is like fun. PPG is like work. A camera is a machine of light and time with the purpose of capturing a luminous moment. Like the eye it is a tool of the mind.
daz is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jun 5, 2011, 12:12 PM   #2
calr's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 8,466

Nice job, Daz. An excellent example of the use of a polarizer.

calr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 5, 2011, 4:08 PM   #3
Senior Member
mtngal's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,177

A good example. I took something today that showed similar changes, but yours is a better picture. Very nice!
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 5, 2011, 9:35 PM   #4
selvin's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 7,204

Great example.
selvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 6, 2011, 2:16 AM   #5
Senior Member
wave01's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: North West England
Posts: 1,750

very nice
wave01 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:48 PM.