Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A lake near Hobart, Australia - with and without a polarizer

Lake near Hobart, Australia - Polarizer used.
Lake near Hobart, Australia - No polarizer used.
Anyone interested in doing the best job they can when capturing landscape images should think seriously about acquiring a polarizing filter.  They can be expensive, especially for lenses with large filter sizes; but a polarizing filter for your basic kit lens shouldn't set you back very much.  I have a 77 mm polarizer that I use for my ultra wide angle lens and my 28 - 300 mm lens.  I always travel with it because it just makes such a difference.
Notice the difference between the skies in the two images.  Even the boat and the sand are affected.  The grass is also changed.  This is because of what a polarizer does.  It filters out light traveling along a particular plane.  If there is no polarized light, it makes no difference other than acting as a bit of a neutral density filter.  However, on sunny days it can make an enormous difference.
The trick with a polarizer is to put it on only when it can make that difference.  Inside it has very little value, and cloudy days typically are without merit.  The place where it shines though is on sunny days, partly cloudy days, or in situations where you have annoying reflections coming off things like water or other shiny surfaces.
The best way to experience a polarizer is to get one.   Start off with a small one so you don't have to make too much of a sacrifice expenditure wise.  Borrow one if you can.  Play with it for a while and come to your own conclusion.  You will find that it is well worth the purchase and the time needed to attach it and play with its properties.