Using filters

Discuss everything about photography such as technique, post-processing, printing, etc

Moderators: John, Sharon, Fossil, Lucky Poet, crusty_bint, Jazza, dazza

Using filters

Postby Sharon » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:55 pm

This is something I have just started doing more regularly. I've used a few different ND (natural density) filters for a while for doing long exposures... soft silky water things... but today I got a polarising filter. I went out in the the blue skied evening and headed for the beach, only for the blue sky to have turned a grubby shade of grey. However, I did still take a few quick test shots.... just to see, and I have to admit i am pleasantly surprised. Enough to share my moment of joy. Just watch those reflections / glare disappear and the sandy sand appear. So much more colour and clarity. Thumbs up for the polarising filter!

polarising-test.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Beware of yawning dogs.
User avatar
Sharon
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7492
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2002 11:30 am
Location: Galloway

Re: Using filters

Postby Lucky Poet » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:30 pm

That's a pretty dramatic demonstration of polarising filters. I used to have one for a past camera, and I've been thinking of getting another for a while - they're brilliant things.
All the world seems in tune on a Spring afternoon, when we're poisoning pigeons in the park.
User avatar
Lucky Poet
-
-
 
Posts: 4161
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:15 am
Location: Up a close

Re: Using filters

Postby Sharon » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:42 pm

I had really mostly been thinking of how much more saturated colour becomes, I hadn't really considered how good the reflection killing can be. I should have photographed my kitchen window, no filter and all you get is a white glare coming back at you, and with filter you can see the net curtains (yes I said net curtains). Amazing really.
Beware of yawning dogs.
User avatar
Sharon
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7492
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2002 11:30 am
Location: Galloway

Re: Using filters

Postby Vinegar Tom » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:33 pm

I was inspired to screw on my polariser by this thread and had a wee bash this afternoon. Not that great in overcast weather, and some nasty vignetting with the wide angle. I'll need to try again on a blue-sky day!
Glasgow ya bas!
User avatar
Vinegar Tom
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 2390
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:59 pm
Location: Trying to find the exit from Black Mesa

Re: Using filters

Postby Monument » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:15 pm

I often struggled with lack of of light in this country, when using mine. Seems to have a strange effect on the auto focus too. You have inspired me to try again.
A vagabond on the way.
User avatar
Monument
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 1454
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:23 am
Location: Fife

Re: Using filters

Postby Sharon » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:37 pm

Yes, auto-focus wasn't keen on it, i *think* i took it of focused and put it on again. I think that was due to the low light and lack of features to focus on though. I'm still most amazed by the reflection / glare killing qualities, I hope to see some sun someday to test the colour saturation concept out...
Beware of yawning dogs.
User avatar
Sharon
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7492
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2002 11:30 am
Location: Galloway

Re: Using filters

Postby Seamey » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:21 pm

Polarising filters - work really well on colourful glossy paint too.
Seamey
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 3:08 pm
Location: Giffnock

Re: Using filters

Postby Lucky Poet » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:49 pm

And on foliage, once Spring is properly sprung. The effect is amazing.

A handy wee tip on how to use polarising filters for blue skies, incidentally, given that they darken blue skies unevenly: the darkest part is always at 90 degrees to the sun. To find it, point your forefinger at the sun, with your thumb at a right angle. If you rotate your hand, so long as you're pointing at the sun, the band of darkest sky will be where your thumb points to. Honest.
All the world seems in tune on a Spring afternoon, when we're poisoning pigeons in the park.
User avatar
Lucky Poet
-
-
 
Posts: 4161
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:15 am
Location: Up a close

Re: Using filters

Postby Sharon » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:48 am

Nice tip LP! And Seamy - I took note of the reflecting paint when shooting yesterday; and enjoyed those reflecting, shiny painted doors turned back to their proper colour.

More filter testing... I should have done a test with only the 10 stop filter and one with only the polariser so I could see what the polariser was doing - if much in this scenario. I'm also quite taken by the effect of the water being smoothed from the long exposure (30s) I got using the 10 stop filter. It simplifies the image.

filtertests.jpg
. But I didn't!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Beware of yawning dogs.
User avatar
Sharon
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7492
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2002 11:30 am
Location: Galloway

Re: Using filters

Postby HelenD » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:08 am

Sharon wrote:Yes, auto-focus wasn't keen on it, i *think* i took it of focused and put it on again. I think that was due to the low light and lack of features to focus on though. I'm still most amazed by the reflection / glare killing qualities, I hope to see some sun someday to test the colour saturation concept out...

There are two types of polarising filter. On a microscopic level the have lines in them like a venetian blind. One type has them laid out in a linear fashion; the other has them laid out concentricly. One works with autofocus, the other struggles, but I can't remember which way round.
They boil them for 20 of their Earth minutes
User avatar
HelenD
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:27 pm

Re: Using filters

Postby Josef » Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:15 pm

The photo without the filter is not only better, but substantially better.

Maybe it's just me.
User avatar
Josef
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 8145
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:43 pm

Re: Using filters

Postby Sharon » Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:53 pm

Josef wrote:The photo without the filter is not only better, but substantially better.

Maybe it's just me.


Well I never used to be keen on it, but I now quite like the flat water effect now as it does simplify a scene - for example here it means your eye goes to the bridge or the reeds instead of the water also competing for your attention.

This was taken on my way home last night to illustrate (to myself mostly!) the effects of using the 2 filters, and I guess whether you like the end result is subjective, but the effect of what the filter does is there to see. The polariser has saturated the colour a bit which I also quite like - although that's only subtly showing here.

Maybe you could expand on why you don't like the effect? I'm just dipping a toe into this and trying to work out what I like, so opinions can help!
Beware of yawning dogs.
User avatar
Sharon
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7492
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2002 11:30 am
Location: Galloway

Re: Using filters

Postby Sharon » Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:04 pm

The net curtains example. Helen you are right, linear polarisers mean you can't use autofocus (just read that the other day) and with circular you can.

polarisertest.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Beware of yawning dogs.
User avatar
Sharon
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7492
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2002 11:30 am
Location: Galloway

Re: Using filters

Postby Josef » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:30 pm

Sharon wrote:Well I never used to be keen on it, but I now quite like the flat water effect now as it does simplify a scene - for example here it means your eye goes to the bridge or the reeds instead of the water also competing for your attention.


... and that there is the single best reason for preferring the 'before' version. Instead of a 'cluttered' photo you'd look at several times, there's a 'simplified' one you'd take a glance at once. The removal of the framing created by the hanging twigs in the 'before' doesn't help, mind.

Not that I'm against minimalism. But that works where there is a 'story', or where the photograph itself creates one, which isn't the case here.

And having said that, the second example you posted is clearly far superior, but that's because it clarifies the scene.
User avatar
Josef
Third Stripe
Third Stripe
 
Posts: 8145
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:43 pm

Re: Using filters

Postby Sharon » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:50 pm

Ah - this was really just a filter test not a picture taking exercise, it's the first place I was right next to the water when coming home last night, and yes the first pic does have superior framing. It was just the effect from the filter I thought was being commented on! Thanks though, food for thought.

And also a lesson in how test shots should be presented, both should be exactly the same for a proper comparison without distractions.

This bridge actually looks much better when photographed from the other side.

Oh, I've got another one I'll post in minute. (Been doing some filing...found some old pics when I first got the filter, and was unconvinced!)
Beware of yawning dogs.
User avatar
Sharon
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7492
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2002 11:30 am
Location: Galloway

Next

Return to Photography

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest