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Article:
  Top Ten Digital Photography Tips
Subject:   save on expensive polarizers
Date:   2002-11-01 14:59:40
From:   stephaniem
Response to: save on expensive polarizers

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.

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  • 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