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Photography Question 
Paul D. Carter

How to use polarizing filter

Years ago on the beach in San DIego, I used a polarizing filter and the
photos were too dark! I wonder if maybe I should not have used this filter
9on a very bright sunny day in June, 1997) or perhpas I did not use theis polarizing filter correctly. I have the circular, rotating type. I have used it and gooten good results (very intense blue sky) when I used it previously.

Any ideas on what went wrong?

Please advise.



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7/29/2005 9:49:19 AM

Michael H. Cothran   Often pictures will appear dark when using a polarizing filter, especially in extreme conditions such as the beach, or at high mountain altitudes. The reason is that the polarizer is doing what it is supposed to do - removing reflective light. In these extreme conditions, the sky can turn a very dark cobalt blue, even to almost black in very high altitudes, while the bright sand and other colorful items around you will show off their deep saturated colors once the reflections are gone.
This is common. What can you do? First, remember that you don't have to use the polarizer at full effect. Just turn the ring slightly, and watch how the reflections will begin to disappear. Then simply choose a setting that is still appealing, but not yet fully polarized.
In addition, and quite normal on a bright, sunny beach is the fact that your in-camera meter will be fooled by the brightness of the sand, causing the camera to underexpose the scene. Try dialing in a +.5 or +1.0 exposure compensation.
Hope this helps.
Michael H. Cothran

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7/29/2005 10:54:30 AM

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