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Thread: Should I use my Polarising Filter for Sunrise photos

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    Should I use my Polarising Filter for Sunrise photos

    Hi
    I am going out tomorrow morning to try and get some nice sunrise shots, my first attempt.
    Just wondering if I should use my Polarising filter or not.
    Would love to hear from anyone that has tried sunrise photography.
    Thank you in advance.
    Mary

  2. #2
    It's all about the Light!
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    No, Polarisers are about blue skies and the Sun at 90degrees to your subject
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Thank you Kym, I wasn't sure so thought I would ask at least I know now.

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    there is no blanket yes or no answer to this, whilst a CPL is going to have little effect or use for a sunrise shot straight into the sun, the benefits for other shots during sunrise in particular for seascapes, imo, outweighs not taking or using it. Personally I would just leave it on there, however that me and my style of photography.

    here is a recent example that where, at sunrise (not directly into the sun) the CPL makes a completely different effect.



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    Thanks Gerry
    I guess the second has the CPL & with the sun on your left shoulder ?
    Col

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    correct, both images have the sun on the left, taken a few minutes apart, one has the CPL rotated with the dot towards the sun (CPL at maximum effect) and the other with it 90 degrees from that point (no CPL effect)

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    Dtoh recently made a blog talking about filters/polarisers.
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ice-On-Filters
    It might give you an insight into the different filter situations!
    Taxxy- Otherwise known as Brett.

    CC is welcomed and appreciated

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    I always leave my CPL on unless it's hindering the shot in some way.

    During the day there is always a point in the sky that is a 90° to the sun(otherwise it wouldn't be during the day, it'd be night! ) so even at sunset and sunrise(ie. sun on the horizon) there is some part of the sky at 90° relative to the sun.

    Whether you choose to use that part of the entire scenery as subject matter is up to you, as part of the decision making process when capturing the exposure.

    There have been many times when I've used a polariser in the moments where the sun is below the horizon(mostly at sunset).

    Alternate uses for the polariser when there may appear to be no effect, is to remove reflections from surfaces.. water being the worst culprit. Even tho the sun is below the horizon, or behind a cloud or whatever, the water(say a still lake) will still reflect a lot of light in many situations. Using a polariser to remove this unwanted reflective aspect out of the water and darken it, and subsequently achieve a more even exposure.

    Of course all this depends on the lens being used as well. My main landscape lens (Sigma 10-20) has the polariser basically permanently fixed to it, and all the other lenses just get whatever treatment is easy or necessary at the time.

    Of course it's already been stated, if you're going to a sunrise shoot and expect to shoot into the sun itself then the polariser is going to be 'next to' useless .
    Of course you may have other elements in the scene that you need to treat with the pol filter, where you keep the filter on whilst shooting into the sun, but be aware that they produce more nasty reflections than most single element filters do(such as ND's and UV filters).
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    My favorite filter for a sunrise is my ND400. I love being able to drag the rich colors out of a sunrise with a long exposure. I can get a long exposure without the filter if I am on site before the sun actually rises.

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    I would probably leave it on - the reason being - you can turn the polariser to have an effect or no effect whereas if you all of a sudden find that you want the effect , you may miss the moment by struggling to put it on.
    Gerry's example is a great one showing the huge differences when it comes to reflective surfaces (eg the water)
    Sometimes for sunrises, I want the colour of the sky reflected in water - sometimes I want a see through effect of the rocks below a pool of water.
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