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hasato Jan 27, 2004 9:17 AM

Polarized filter OR Photoshop
Asside from the ability to filter reflections, can you imitate the dramatic contrast effect in skies, landscapes as a polarized filter does, in Adobe Photoshop?

Is this case, I can buy a much more smaller digicam because I don't need a polarized filter :)

slipe Jan 27, 2004 10:23 AM

Try it yourself on an unpolarized photo with some blue sky and clouds. Start by going Image>Auto levels. If that doesnít help the picture just go back to open in the history. I often do a defogging if I didnít use a lens shade. Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp mask. Try the amount around 17 and the radius at around 200. Threshold 0. This isnít really a sharpening step Ė you should do that last if it needs it with the radius around 1.5 to 4 according to the resolution and whatever amount and threshold you like.

Select>Color range and mess with the fuzziness until the sky only is completely selected. The magic wand works too but set it for non-contiguous if there are parts of the sky peeking through branches or not connected to the rest of the sky. You also have to mess with the settings. I find color range to be easier because of the feedback.

You can get a pretty sky sometimes just messing with saturation, hue and brightness on the selected sky. Levels and curves does nice things too,

Once the sky is selected I sometimes use Image>Adjustments>Selective color. Mess with all the channels.

Reference it to a good polarized shot and see how close you can come. Polarization can be completely different in parts of the sky, so the effect isnít always the same. The Vikings found a crystal that would detect polarization and they used it for navigation because they knew what parts of the sky were polarized at different times of the day in what direction.

I find I can get close enough that I donít have to carry my polarizer all the time, but you might feel differently. I also often replace ugly or hazy skies with nice ones.

UrbanPhotos Jan 27, 2004 7:10 PM

A polarizer does things other than just darkening the sky.

It also can reduce or completely remove reflections from glass or water, and can also improve color saturation in things like trees by reducing the glare on the leaves. The blue sky effect can be "faked" in photoshop, but the reflection reduction can never be done as well as it could with a polarizer.

slipe Jan 27, 2004 7:18 PM

Re: Polarized filter OR Photoshop

Originally Posted by hasato
Asside from the ability to filter reflections.....

JerryF Jan 27, 2004 10:26 PM

Something like this?
Click on the follwing link for an example of a "polarized" photo.

The two photos are in the Shared Files photo album.

The first photo in the album is untouched; the second I increased the saturation of the sky.

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