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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
 

Circular Polarizer - Orientation


When will a circular polarizer have the most effect on the blues in the sky? I've not quite made the connection when out shooting; sometimes the results are very pronounced, with extreme darkening of the blue as I rotate the ring, and other times, I can see absolutely no change when rotating the ring completely through 360 degrees... I recall reading it has to do with the angle of the camera/line-of-sight to the subject, and the location of the sun. Thanks!

10/14/2006 4:00:18 PM

 
Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Bob
Bob's Gallery
bobslens.com

member since: 2/9/2003
  When you are standing facing your subject, if YOUR shadow is to your right or left, the polarizer will work. If your shadow is in front or behind you, it will work very minimally or not at all.

10/14/2006 5:53:22 PM

 
Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/31/2005
  For the biggest effect, you need to be perpendicular to the sun.

10/14/2006 6:45:26 PM

 
Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Thanks, guys! (I believe you're both saying the same sort of thing!) Will definitely try it out on the next sunny clear day...

10/15/2006 4:57:43 AM

 
Gen Nagase
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/31/2003
 
A handy polarizer info I used when I got my first polarizer.

http://www.geocities.com/cokinfiltersystem/polarizer.htm

Note the list of 8 tips toward the bottom.

10/15/2006 6:05:25 AM

 
W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Wide-angle lenses are not recommended for polarizing skies, as a part of the sky will be decidely darker - more saturated - than the rest, and you'll end up with a 'patchy' sky.

10/16/2006 6:13:02 AM

 
Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Thanks, Nobi & W, for adding your info!

10/16/2006 3:59:52 PM

 
Ben F
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/30/2004
  yep, 90 degrees to the sun

works best generally around midday when the sun is directly above, or when the sun has just risen or set, and then shoot 90deg from where it is.

10/17/2006 2:53:44 AM

 
John  Munro

member since: 11/10/2004
  Chris -

One other thing to remember about the polarizer When shooting in the mountains the higher you go the less polarization you need to use. A little goes a long way.

10/17/2006 5:39:19 AM

 
Dennis Creaghan

member since: 10/21/2002
  Also when shooting panoramas don't use a polarizer or the sky will come out decidedly uneven, as I discovered.

Dennis

10/17/2006 12:29:47 PM

 
Ben F
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/30/2004
  Going with the panoramic issue,

i think sometimes the uneven effect can be quite effective, especially if its subtle.
Depending on lighting (time of day) and whats in the sky, ie clouds, you can get some really nice tones through the horizon, rather than just a simple saturated blue/white.

My opinion anywayz, who says perfect is perfect :)

10/19/2006 6:15:32 AM

 
Christopher J. Budny
BetterPhoto Member
chrisbudny.com

member since: 10/3/2005
  Thanks, guys, for the follow-up!

10/20/2006 7:18:21 PM

 

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