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Article:
  Top Ten Digital Photography Tips
Subject:   save on expensive polarizers
Date:   2002-10-23 11:30:46
From:   derrick
Response to: save on expensive polarizers

You're absolutely right; you can simulate the effect in Photoshop -- with a little practice.


I think it all comes down to what's most important to you: post production time or minor equipment expenses.


I prefer to record the images as close to the final product as possible. That's one of the reasons I like digital cameras so much -- they allow me to preview the picture while I'm still on location. Then, I like to upload the images to iPhoto and begin using them right away without major adjustments.


But I realize that others enjoy post production as much, or sometimes even more, than the actual shooting. For those folks I still recommend that you record the best image possible in the camera, but you can save on some filters and other accessories thanks to the power of modern image editors.


BTW: One of the reasons I mention using sunglasses for a polarizer is for those who can't use, or don't want to buy filters.


Thanks for you thoughts :)


-Derrick

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Showing messages 1 through 6 of 6.

  • save on expensive polarizers
    2002-10-23 13:39:15  apyh [View]

    one quick note...

    i think you can get filters out there on the net for ~$50, that "expensive" price pales in comparison to the pricetag on good photo manipulation programs like photoshop (~$600).

    Especially for the beginner I'd sooner tell them to shell out $50-$100 for a filter (or even less for some polarized sunglasses like the idea in the article) than have them consider buying photoshop.

    • save on expensive polarizers
      2002-11-01 14:59:40  stephaniem [View]

      I think polarised sunglasses are a great way to experiment with polarisation effects, especially for beginners. For anything like quality work, though, remember that the best sunglasses have abysmal optical quality compared to even a half-decent camera lens.

      Polarisers do many, many things that can't be simulated easily in Photoshop - or at all, in some cases.

      Polarisers don't uniformly increase contrast in an image; they darken only polarised light. This includes light from a clear sky that's at 90 degrees from the sun; reflections off water, glass and most other NON-metallic surfaces. They don't alter colour. Simulating these effects accurately in Photoshop is very time-consuming indeed; tweaking layers and curves isn't the same thing at all.

      A polariser can also serve as a handy ND2 filter to give you that extra long exposure or that shallower depth of field. Try simulating vehicle light trails in Photoshop; sure, you can do it with some practice. But shallow depth of field is a little harder to get right.

      Polarisers can also see through the reflections on water or glass. Photoshop can't.

      $50-$100 for a polariser? Outrageous? Possibly. But at my rates for Photoshop work, that's a bargain.
      • best speed on moving objects?
        2010-01-04 15:52:53  ERICON5 [View]

        what's the best suggested speed to capture a moving object on stage( musical act/band) with spots lights that constatnly change of color and capture the object regardless of the background?
      • save on expensive polarizers
        2003-11-10 06:32:12  anonymous2 [View]

        oooh.... "at my rates for Photoshop work...". Guess us hacks should make sure we purchase a Polariser then.

        Great article Derrick.
      • save on expensive polarizers
        2003-01-20 14:52:23  anonymous2 [View]

        What are your rates for photoshop work? I have to outsource some work and I'm looking for competant individuals to handle image processing for the web... tlh@sysmatrix.net
    • save on expensive polarizers
      2002-11-01 14:58:13  stephaniem [View]

      I think polarised sunglasses are a great way to experiment with polarisation effects, especially for beginners. For anything like quality work, though, remember that the best sunglasses have abysmal optical quality compared to even a half-decent camera lens.

      Polarisers do many, many things that can't be simulated easily in Photoshop - or at all, in some cases.

      Polarisers don't uniformly increase contrast in an image; they darken only polarised light. This includes light from a clear sky that's at 90 degrees from the sun; reflections off water, glass and most other NON-metallic surfaces. They don't alter colour. Simulating these effects accurately in Photoshop is very time-consuming indeed; tweaking layers and curves isn't the same thing at all.

      A polariser can also serve as a handy ND2 filter to give you that extra long exposure or that shallower depth of field. Try simulating vehicle light trails in Photoshop; sure, you can do it with some practice. But shallow depth of field is a little harder to get right.

      Polarisers can also see through the reflections on water or glass. Photoshop can't.

      $50-$100 for a polariser? Outrageous? Possibly. But at my rates for Photoshop work, that's a bargain.