Can you name me the one set of filters that photoshop and friends cannot reproduce the effects of, without some major image overhaul or reconstruction? If you guessed the polarized filters, congratulations, you read the title.
I’ve never been a prove it through science kind of guy. But, I do know how to apply principles that have been proven for my own personal use, and with a positive effect.
So, the polarizing filter and what is it?
Have you seen those computer laptop privacy screens? Unless you are sitting directly in front of the computer, all you see is black.
The thing covering the computer screen will only allow light that is approaching from straight on to be seen. Any side light, or attempt to view the light from the side, will result in a black image. It won’t be visible.
Too much science? Stick with me for just a minute, it will pay off, I promise.
Think about two lineman on a football field, one offensive, one defensive. The offensive lineman is going to try to tackle the quarterback when he gets the ball. The offensive lineman weighs about 300 pounds (a bunch of kilos). The defensive lineman is trying
to protect the quarterback until he can throw the football, or run with it. The defensive lineman weighs 90 pounds, (not nearly enough kilos.
So what happens when the defensive lineman tries blocking the much larger offensive lineman? He gets stomped into sticky goo and fails miserably. But, what if the smaller defensive lineman says,”Hey, this guys going to kill me” “What if I were to wait for half a second and hit him from the side. That might be just enough to knock him OUT OF THE PICTURE.”
Well done, gentle reader, you’ve just learned how a polarizing filter works. The filter does not block light reflecting or shining directly into the camera. But it does divert the refracted light enough to take it out of your picture. Colors are truer and more vivid.
Here are two examples. All of the images were taken with at the same time, with no changes in camera angles or settings. The first image is taken without a polarizing filter. The image attached that follows is taken with the filter.
See what I mean? Let’s try it again, this time facing the sun…
Notice how the reflected light stil comes through? But look at the colors.
The rule of thumb? If the light is overhead, in front of, or behind you, you’re not going to get the most out of a polarized filter. If the light source is to either side of you… That’s the right time for the filter.
Last example: Would you rather see the reflection and the water spiders on top of the water?
Or the critter and scenery underneath? Either answer can be right.
Okay, now the fun part. If you thought, I’ve got a little tiny point and shoot and I don’t have a $50 filter on my camera. Do you have a set of polarized sunglasses? If there are no scratches and the lenses are clean…
Have a great day.