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Thread: Will a polariser solve this problem?

  1. #1

    Default Will a polariser solve this problem?

    h e y ,

    I find myself taking a lot of shots with my D70s, where the subject is between the sun and me. Thus, my foreground becomes very dark in the shot when my sky looks well-exposed. I've tried to use different metering methods, but they don't really seem to work. I was wondering, would getting a polariser help me to solve this problem? Or are there other solutions? Thanks..

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    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    reflector or fill flash?

    YMMV

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    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by zmackid View Post
    h e y ,

    I find myself taking a lot of shots with my D70s, where the subject is between the sun and me. Thus, my foreground becomes very dark in the shot when my sky looks well-exposed. I've tried to use different metering methods, but they don't really seem to work. I was wondering, would getting a polariser help me to solve this problem? Or are there other solutions? Thanks..
    no... this is due to dynamic range of digital sensor...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    Nope...a polarizer will not solve your problem...wrong tools for the problem. Polarizer is use to cut out reflections not correct a exposure problem.

    For your problem...what you experience is a backlit subject. Your cam meters is fooled into taking the exposure for the sky instead of the subject.

    Solution is...go real close and use spot meter to determine the exposure then lock it in using your AE lock or just memories the setting. Recompose & shoot.

    Another way is to use a fill in flash. Either use your TTL mode or use the flash's automatic mode to do it. if no external flash, the build in flash will work too...just watch out for the distance.

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    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by zmackid View Post
    h e y ,

    I find myself taking a lot of shots with my D70s, where the subject is between the sun and me. Thus, my foreground becomes very dark in the shot when my sky looks well-exposed. I've tried to use different metering methods, but they don't really seem to work. I was wondering, would getting a polariser help me to solve this problem? Or are there other solutions? Thanks..
    No. Polarizer will not solve the problem.

    To solve the problem:
    1). Reflector to light up the subject.
    2). Flash as fill in light (fill-in flash).
    3). Over exposure method. This will make the subject brighter, while the background will be over exposure. Use this if you can't move the subject so the sun is not behind the subject and you really-really must have correct exposure on subject.

    Regards,
    Arto.

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    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    A graduated neutral density filter will help to balance the exposure between the sky and the foreground, especially useful for landscape photography.
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    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    depends on the angle of shoot. if the sky takes up more than just the top half of your frame, use a ND filter (+4) eg. then use flash to light up your subject (reflector can also be helpful). this is an effective way to overcome the challenge.

    ps. meter (w flash on) on the subject after putting on the ND filter.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    Backlighting. Best is to use fill-in flash. Flash +1.

  9. #9
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    polariser will uniformly cut down the reflections portion of the light to some extent, and uniformly cut down the overall light intensity to a certain extent.

    what you are facing is a wide intensity difference, which you have to compensate one portion without changing another portion. neither a uniform filter such as CPL, ND or spot metering is going to narrow down that difference.

    to do that, you can use

    1. a rectangular 2-4 stop soft edge graduated neutral density filter adjusted horizon on a cokin or lee filter holder, and

    2. reframe and avoid the bright areas, e.g. the sky

    3. fill in flash to a subject within the reach of the flash

    the above methods will help to reduce the difference and can be used in combination. however method 1 may cast an unnatural edge of graduation if the horizon is irregular or the edge placed wrongly. method 2 will affect the composition and potentially lose a dramatic sky. method 3 may replace the ambient cast with the flash and lose the mood.

    alternatively HDR can be applied.

    supposedly, if the sky is not important but cannot be totally avoided in the frame, what you can do is to sacrifice the sky, spot meter on the subject's face to correctly exposed the face and overexposed the sky.

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    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by zmackid View Post
    h e y ,

    I find myself taking a lot of shots with my D70s, where the subject is between the sun and me. Thus, my foreground becomes very dark in the shot when my sky looks well-exposed. I've tried to use different metering methods, but they don't really seem to work. I was wondering, would getting a polariser help me to solve this problem? Or are there other solutions? Thanks..
    depend what are the subject you are shooting.

    if the subject is a person, and you die die must shoot at this angle and this spot at this time, you can use fill flash, like what others have mention.

    if the subject is a building, and you don't want or can't to find a better time or angle to shoot, can try use graduated neutral density filter to darken the sky a little, remember to take meter reading and set the exposure before you attach the filter.

    if you want to use polariser filter, the best effect is when the sun is at your left, top or right, you will not have any effect if you are facing the sun, or during a cloudy day.

    hope these help.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    take 2 pictures of different exposure based on metering the fore-object and back-object, use PS to overlap it....but you need a tripod for better results.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    Thanks for the advice man... I was actually taking photos of the crowd at the anti-war protest in Washington and I was quite far away because they barricaded the area. However, it's the not the first time I had such problems, so I thought I'll ask...

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    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by zmackid View Post
    Thanks for the advice man... I was actually taking photos of the crowd at the anti-war protest in Washington and I was quite far away because they barricaded the area. However, it's the not the first time I had such problems, so I thought I'll ask...
    You need tele lens than polarizer filter...

    Regards,
    Arto.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Will a polariser solve this problem?

    Pal,

    Yo know what i did? Read and see (basic and professional photographers book - library has alot), shoot more and review for improvement... In short - DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
    :blah: D80, Sigma 18-50/f2.8, 70-200/f2.8 (HSM).

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