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Thread: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

  1. #131
    Super Moderator Underground's Avatar
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    Re: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

    I have a photo question. I shoot around water a lot, and often I want to get a picture of the area on the surface and be able to see what's below as well. But it's usually hard to get set up just right to avoid any surface reflection.

    Other than changing the angle relative to the sun or other light (not always an option) are there other ways to accomplish that? Polarizing filter?



    That guy, he said I should be oblong and have my knees removed. But I don't trust him, he plays the banjo.

  2. #132
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    Re: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

    Quote Originally Posted by Underground View Post
    I have a photo question. I shoot around water a lot, and often I want to get a picture of the area on the surface and be able to see what's below as well. But it's usually hard to get set up just right to avoid any surface reflection.

    Other than changing the angle relative to the sun or other light (not always an option) are there other ways to accomplish that? Polarizing filter?
    A polarizing filter is your only option if, as you say, you can't change any other parameters. But the polarizing filter (also sometimes referred to as a CPL, for circular polarizer, which I'll explain in a bit) works best when your line of sight is about 45 degrees off the plane of the water (I think—I could be wrong about the exact angle, but that's pretty close). At that angle, the filter will remove almost all of the reflections on the surface. This also works just about any surface that reflects light. Since it reduces only the polarized light, it can't remove all reflections such as you get from a mirror, but it can cut glare from a lot of surfaces like auto windshields and paint, wet leaves and grass, city streets, etc. (Anyone who has worn a pair of polarized sunglasses knows exactly what I'm talking about.) Almost every photo in a car magazine was taken with a CPL to remove window glare.

    A CPL also darkens the sky when the line of sight is perpendicular to the sun's rays. In the ferris wheel pictures I posted the other day, you can see this effect in the very dark sky on the right side of the image. The sun was to my left in that scene and the bluest part of the sky was the most affected by the filter. Pointing directly at or away from the sun has almost no effect beyond the obvious darkening caused by the filter density (they cut about 2.5 stops of light entering the lens).

    You can't just screw it on and go, either. All CPL filters are designed to spin on the front of the lens after they are securely screwed down. This is so you can adjust the amount of polarizing effect you want or to compensate for the angle of the glare. Basically, you mount the filter and then watch the effect through the viewfinder as you turn the filter in its mount. Again, depending on the angle of the lens to the water's surface, you'll see the glare slowly disappear so you can see what's under the water more clearly. If you've ever seen a sailing or travel magazine with a boat anchored in a lagoon where the boat looks like it's floating in mid-air over a shallow bottom, that's a good use of a polarizing filter.

    There are two main kinds of polarizing filter used in photography: Circular and linear. Circular polarizers are necessary on cameras that use a phase-detection autofocus system such as those found in all modern SLRs. Either circular or linear polarizing filters can be used on manual focus and most video cameras that use a contrast-detection AF system.

    Something else: The effect of a polarizing filter is very difficult—if not impossible—to "fake" on a computer. While just about any color filter can be superimposed on the image, the painstaking removal of every reflection (and subsequent replacement with underlying image information) makes this task so daunting that no photographer would attempt it instead of just using the correct filter to begin with.

    Here's an example. Both shots were taken with the CPL mounted, but rotated 90 degrees in between exposures to show the effect of the filter on the wet roots and leaves. All exposure settings were exactly the same for each shot.





    Lastly, don't use a CPL when shooting people. It does weird things to skin color and makes shiny hair look dull and flat. Just don't do it.
    Long before I started hemorrhaging money for guns, I was spending like crazy on photo gear....
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  3. #133
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    Re: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

    Ah so. You can certainly see how it eliminates the reflections on the wet roots and leaves. And you see more of the actual color of the objects with better contrast rather than the extra glare. I wear polarized sunglasses and I've noticed the same effect with the sky. I can also often see interference patterns in car windows that I assume come from the heat treating of the glass.

    Does that work for macro shots where you might have some glare that's obscuring fine detail you may want to pick up?

    And is there a typical fstop or ISO change needed with that? Obviously it reduces the amount of light entering the lens.



    That guy, he said I should be oblong and have my knees removed. But I don't trust him, he plays the banjo.

  4. #134
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    Re: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

    Quote Originally Posted by Underground View Post
    Ah so. You can certainly see how it eliminates the reflections on the wet roots and leaves. And you see more of the actual color of the objects with better contrast rather than the extra glare. I wear polarized sunglasses and I've noticed the same effect with the sky. I can also often see interference patterns in car windows that I assume come from the heat treating of the glass.

    Does that work for macro shots where you might have some glare that's obscuring fine detail you may want to pick up?

    And is there a typical fstop or ISO change needed with that? Obviously it reduces the amount of light entering the lens.
    I've never used this filter for an extreme closeup or macro shot, but I suppose it could be used if you encountered trouble with glare or reflections when working very close to the lens.

    You'll need to add about 2.5 stops to the exposure to compensate for the darkness of the filter.

    As with anything you're going to stick on the front of your lens, don't cheap out on the polarizing filter. Get a good, multi-coated glass filter. I use a B+W (made in Germany) CPL. I think I paid around $150 for the 77mm version and I use adapters to mount it on smaller lenses. The multi-coated glass drastically reduces the reflections between the back of the filter and the front of your lens and it makes a difference in lens flare when shooting close to the sun. The better glass also maintains the quality of the image instead of softening it like a $20 filter does. I say "does" because I have never used a cheap filter that didn't result in obvious degradation to the photos. Especially if you drop a grand or two on a lens, you can afford to spend a buck-and-a-half on a decent filter.
    Long before I started hemorrhaging money for guns, I was spending like crazy on photo gear....
    Click here to visit my photography web site.

    "Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." - Richard Dawkins

  5. #135
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    Re: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

    Good stuff, thanks. This is an example of a couple shots I took the other day in the same spot. The first one is overexposed but they both probably would have benefitted from a polarizing filter I think due to all the reflection off the water, and maybe some on the roots.

    As for composition I should have zoomed in a little more on the first and framed the whole bird and it's reflection in the corner of the second shot I think.











    That guy, he said I should be oblong and have my knees removed. But I don't trust him, he plays the banjo.

  6. #136
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    Re: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

    Quote Originally Posted by Underground View Post
    Good stuff, thanks. This is an example of a couple shots I took the other day in the same spot. The first one is overexposed but they both probably would have benefitted from a polarizing filter I think due to all the reflection off the water, and maybe some on the roots.

    As for composition I should have zoomed in a little more on the first and framed the whole bird and it's reflection in the corner of the second shot I think.
    I might have cropped out most of the trees in the background of the first, just to accentuate the bird's target area in front of him. In the second I would have done something similar to draw some attention to the school of little fish in front of the bird, and I think a polarizing filter would have done a lot to show those fish through the glare on the water.

    Removing the glare isn't always necessary and sometimes you want some reflection to aid the composition. In this shot I wanted to get a silhouette of the couple (Maggie and Angel on South Beach) and the sun bouncing off the water behind them added some flared halo effects to the image:
    Long before I started hemorrhaging money for guns, I was spending like crazy on photo gear....
    Click here to visit my photography web site.

    "Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." - Richard Dawkins

  7. #137
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    Re: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

    Some of my favorite black and whites:
















    Long before I started hemorrhaging money for guns, I was spending like crazy on photo gear....
    Click here to visit my photography web site.

    "Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." - Richard Dawkins

  8. #138
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    Re: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

    Some wildlife photos:

    Orangutan at Zoo Miami (formerly Miami Metrozoo):


    Iguana at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Coral Gables:


    Dragonfly at Fairchild Garden:


    Another iguana at Fairchild:


    Gull over Miami Beach:


    Frog in my back yard in Miami:


    Sandpiper on South Beach:

    Long before I started hemorrhaging money for guns, I was spending like crazy on photo gear....
    Click here to visit my photography web site.

    "Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." - Richard Dawkins

  9. #139
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    Re: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

    Quote Originally Posted by PDBreske View Post
    Some wildlife photos:

    Orangutan at Zoo Miami (formerly Miami Metrozoo):

    Iguana at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Coral Gables:


    Another iguana at Fairchild:


    Frog in my back yard in Miami:

    First of all PD, I never gave you permission to post this picture of me.


    All is forgiven however because the color, detail, and vibrance of the pics above are AWESOME!


  10. #140
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    Re: Phil's Photo Thread (NSFW)

    Quote Originally Posted by SDDuc996 View Post
    [b]First of all PD, I never gave you permission to post this picture of me.

    All is forgiven however because the color, detail, and vibrance of the pics above are AWESOME!
    Well, I figured it was okay since you were in a public place and all.

    Thanks!
    Long before I started hemorrhaging money for guns, I was spending like crazy on photo gear....
    Click here to visit my photography web site.

    "Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." - Richard Dawkins

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