Using a polarizing filter for photographing basking turtles

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Zach Cava
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Using a polarizing filter for photographing basking turtles

Post by Zach Cava » April 14th, 2017, 8:22 pm

Hey, I'm curious if anyone has experimented with using a polarizing filter when photographing basking turtles in order to cut down on glare? Here are a couple shots from last week (no polarizer). Thanks!


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Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) by Zachary Cava, on Flickr


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Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) by Zachary Cava, on Flickr







http://www.zacharycava.net

bgorum
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Re: Using a polarizing filter for photographing basking turt

Post by bgorum » April 15th, 2017, 7:14 am

Cool shots, especially the 2nd one! I don't ever use polarizers. I own one that fits my 70-300, but I'm 100% sure I have never used it. The problem with polarizers is that good ones are very expensive, especially in the sizes needed for telephotos, and they cost you around 2 stops of light. Also, I think the shells of basking turtles are supposed to be shiny. Personally, I'd just shoot in RAW and bring down the whites and highlights a little to reduce the reflections, but I wouldn't want to eliminate them completely.

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Zach Cava
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Re: Using a polarizing filter for photographing basking turt

Post by Zach Cava » April 15th, 2017, 5:02 pm

Thank you - I already have a filter and tripod, so I'll probably try it out. Was just wondering if others had already done it and if so, how the results were. I agree, the shells might look weird without any shininess to them, but the effect may not be so strong.

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chrish
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Re: Using a polarizing filter for photographing basking turt

Post by chrish » April 25th, 2017, 8:52 am

I haven't ever done it, but I agree that the total absence of reflection might look a bit flat.

I have the same feeling about doing it with amphibians. Too much glare/reflection is bad, none is also bad.

There is an article about an interesting technique for removing glare/reflections when using flash here -
https://www.naturescapes.net/articles/t ... otography/
I don't really like the effect he has created? They are supposed to be shiny, just not too shiny.

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Zach Cava
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Re: Using a polarizing filter for photographing basking turt

Post by Zach Cava » April 30th, 2017, 4:02 pm

That is pretty cool, but I agree that the results look too flat. I tried using a polarizer on my 400mm and don't think it's worth the loss of light.

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Kevin Price
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Re: Using a polarizing filter for photographing basking turt

Post by Kevin Price » June 10th, 2017, 1:45 pm

I use a polarized filter for photographing rock art all the time. it brings out some of the rock art that is almost invisible under normal lighting conditions. That said, I do agree that some reflection is good and too much can make the image look flat. I've never shot basking turtles with a polarized filter, but I do know you can adjust the amount of polarization while twisting the filter. You don't have to go "full polarization" if it diminishes the shot.

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Re: Using a polarizing filter for photographing basking turt

Post by SidNeilson » December 21st, 2017, 1:00 pm

I feel that PFs should be used mostly for "paintings" than "true" photos. Although that opinion is biased toward personal experience.

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