Small Thing – Big Difference

If you heard that you could do one simple thing and make a big difference to lots of your photographs, would you be interested?

This technique if relevant right now, especially as we can get out and enjoy the sunshine much more and maybe even spend time with friends – remember that!

In the old days of photography (when I were a lad), we used to carry large set of filters with us to use for all sorts of things and “pre edit” our images before we’d even taken them. A bit hit and miss to say the least.

But with the advent of digital, there was a huge risk of throwing away a few valuable tools and tricks because, well, photoshop. Now, I love photoshop, but it doesn’t do everything. It can’t see through reflections and it’s a lot of work to make colours punch realistically.

Polar Filter Sky

A polarising filter does all that hard work for you – and they’re cheap as chips. This image has a polar filter – the sky is made a deep and brilliant blue and the clouds are super white.

I posted this picture last week of a guy on a paddle board – the polar filter was used to take the reflection out of the sea and so make him appear to float on the air, rather than on the water.

Floating Paddle Board

The science bit – when light bounce off a surface, it’s polarised – which means the rays are all lined up – invisible to the naked eye, but a polar filter can be rotated to include or exclude the majority of the reflected light and so can be used for effective creative purposes. These two pictures are of the same bit of sand at the same time from the same angle – the only difference being the rotation of the polar filter – once to include the glare reflect and one to kill it.

polar filter on the sandpolar filter on the sand

These last two images are a couple of my favourites from the trip, the first from a cliff top down into the sand at the bottom of the sea and the other, just with the polar filter rotated to saturate the colours

Polar filter of the sea from a cliffCornish Sea View

Polar filters generally screw on to the front of your camera lens and are available in a number of sizes to fit most lenses. You can get one for a tenner, or you can pay a good deal more – but if you want to play, get one for a tenner from amazon and see what you can do.

Andy from Photohello is a Visual Alchemist bringing you media in many forms to help you raise your marketing game: andy@photohello.co.uk