bahamas  wedding & portrait photography

Polarizing Filters- Thursday Tips for Photographers | Bahamas Lifestyle Photographer

SOOC (TOP) 1/640 sec at f 1.4 ISO 100 50mm Taken at 10.12am (Bottom) SOOC 1/640 sec at f1.4 ISO 100 50mm 10.13am

SOC 1/400 sec f 2.8 ISO 640 70mm taken at 3.27pm

With the ease of using specialist editing software like Lightroom & Photoshop I know quite a few photographer who don’t bother with filters. But for me it’s such an essential part of my shooting gear I don’t leave for shoots with checking its in my bag.

Hoya Polarizer Image by Amazon

A circular Polarizer filter (CPF) (and I have many other types) does two major things for my images, It reduces glare & enhances the colors that on these islands are so prevalent, the blues of the sea & sky, the greens and all the bright bold colours of plants. As a natural light photographer who shoots predominantly outdoors, this makes all the difference .

 Due to the massive amounts of sunshine we have, colours can get blown out & appear as a white blur, skin retains way too many highlights the CPF filters all the glare and controls highlights so that everything is even, bright & the contrast adds a pop to my images. It means not having to worry about my images in post because they are as I want them in camera.
How does it work?

The CPF works a little like sunglasses, so you place it on the end of your lens and the first thing is it reduces the light by a few stops.

See image below


The polarizer is made from 2 circular filter one that is static and the front piece which rotates 360 degree. As you turn it 45 degrees in either direction, when you look through your view finder you will notice that as you turn it the brightness starts to dim and skin tones take on a matte look, blues will appear richer and deeper and you will see better contrast. There is also a slight orange tinge I find.

My polarizer of choice for my Nikkor 50mm F1:4 is a Hoya 58mm. I recently replaced it as my previous one of 4 years gave up on me.
I also use Tiffen polarizers but I prefer Hoya. This is because it allows me just a little bit more grip to turn it which is important when I’m shooting and moving around.

 Here are a few examples of identical shots at identical settings with the difference of using the CPF.

SOOC (Top) 1/1600 sec at F1.4 ISO 100, 50mm 12.02:45pm (Bottom) 1/1600 sec at F1.4,  ISO 100, 50mm 12.02:49pm 
SOC 1/2500 secs @ f 1.4 Manual ISO 100 Focal length 85mm Shot at 12.02 pm (Full midday sun) 

SOOC (Top) 1/125 sec at f 2.5 ISO 100 50mm 2.40:45pm (Bottom) 1/250 sec at f2.5 ISO 100 50mm 2.40:53pm
Do you bother with filters and if not, why?