My boss gave me this little fella a while back, but I never bothered using it (since I was unsure how it worked). I tried it yesterday and didn’t know what I was doing. I decided to do some research on the polarizing filter to develop a better understanding on how it works.
Long story short, the wikipedia article was a bit above my level of intellect on the topic of light. But from what I understood, the circular polarizing filter “reduce oblique reflections from non-metallic surfaces”. Simply stated, the polarizing filter blocks light from certain angles from entering the lens.
This can be advantageous for many reason. For starters it helps to prevent certain reflections from surfaces. Take the image of my phone for example. The first image has the polarizer reflecting no light, but in the second image we can clearly tell how badly I need to dust my room (from no light being reflected off the table).
Let’s take a look a the second example:
- Polarizer on lens (Effective position)
- Polarizer on lens (Ineffective Position)
- Polarizer removed from lens (Exposure adjusted accordingly)
In the first image we see that the blue in the sky is much more dramatic. This effect can be maximized when there are clouds in the sky. Also, if you look carefully you can see that the brick color is more vivid. This is due to the reduction in light being reflected off its surface. Of course these effects can be achieved in post production, but some things such as flare from a glass I am shooting trough, or light reflected from a surface are very difficult to remove in post production.
Another great time to use a polarized filter could be when shooting through glass, or when shooting a reflection from the surface of water. Gotta push myself to use this thing. The only downside is having to rotate the filter to find the correct position to use it in. For this reason I will probably use it while I’m using a Tripod.