Hi all, Dave here for another #TravelTuesday on ScottKelby.com.
Today, I want to touch on polariser lens filters and explain how they work best for any of you who are interested in such a thing. The thing is, it’s not simply a case of attaching it to the lens and firing away. There’s a little science going on and once we understand the fundamentals of it, we can use our polariser filter to its best ability.
The most common polariser filter out there is the circular polariser (CP), which has two elements to it: one that spins freely and one that is fixed. It’s the relationship between these two elements that’s important to help us achieve the best result. The most common use of a CP filter is in reducing glare on water and in bringing out the blue in the sky. The filter can have the effect of making the entire scene a little darker where it is reducing the glare in the highlighted areas.
The first thing to note with a CP filter is that there will be a small dot or triangle on the rotating element. This should be oriented toward the sun and it is there to show where the polariser will best work to eliminate glare. It’s often as simple as that, but remember that it’s an art and not a science. So, we should use that dot/triangle as a baseline and set the CP to the point that gives us the best visual result, while bearing in mind that too much polarisation may not be a good thing.
In terms of explaining the way it works in eliminating glare and reflections, let’s look at a body of water.
A CP filter literally allows us to see through the glaring reflections on a body of water by eliminating the light oriented in a specific direction. As the sun is at certain positions in the sky, the light from different wavelengths is stronger than others. Our CP filter works to align two layers of glass, which have openings in a certain direction to cut out that glare. If the wave is sideways and our CP is oriented vertically, that lateral, sideways light is prevented from entering the lens and spoiling our image. It all comes down to aligning that little dot/triangle in the best way to achieve the best result.
Investing a little in a CP filter is always a good idea for a landscape photographer, and other photographers should also give it some consideration.
And, with that, I hope you enjoy your Tuesday and have a great week!