Friday, July 7, 2017

Polarisation: Part 1

As all photographers know, in addition to other things, a polariser is useful for enhancing skies, and cutting our glare and reflections. So it should be a no-brainer that we use a polariser a lot of the time.

But as we also know, polarisers come at a potential ‘quality cost’, eg reducing the light, thus driving to longer shutter speeds, and introducing unnatural features, especially in wide angle photography.

In this post all I wish to do is to start to talk about polarisers; and a good place to go is to look at the advantage of using a polarisers for cutting out reflections and glare.

This test scene (our driveway at about 1400 on a very hot and sunny July day) shows the problem we face. On my EOSM, at 11mm and ISO 100, F/10, ISO 100, the scene only demands an (ML-set) ETTR shutter speed of 1/25s.

But note the glare/reflections on the car: they’re rather distracting.

So let’s see what a a circular polariser can do for us (in a later post I’ll talk about circular vs linear polarisers). The (ML-set) ETTR shutter speed is now 1/30s.

Here we see the first benefit that a polariser brings: reducing reflections and glare (when you wish to) and thus reducing distractions.

BTW the polariser I used in this test was Moose Peterson's Warm CL Circular Polariser at 72mm with a step down ring to 55mm to attach to my 11-22mm EOSM lens.

Bottom line: if you are trying to sell your car; think about putting that polariser on your lens!


  1. and you got finer display of clouds (then again that could be timing and the wind)