Best photography accessories under £100: Polarisers
Polarising filters are used to reduce reflections on non-metallic subjects, increase colour saturation and darken blue skies. Every outdoor or landscape photographer should consider having one of these filters in their bag.
When it comes to choosing one, make sure you get a circular polariser rather than a linear type, otherwise your SLR’s metering and autofocus systems won’t work.
Also, polarisers for the Cokin or Lee 100mm square systems are very expensive, so even if you have these systems it’s worth considering buying a screw-in polariser for your main lens.
The key to using a polariser is that the effect varies as you rotate the filter, so you’ll need to look through the viewfinder while rotating the filter to see how the image changes.
When you want to use a polariser to darken blue skies and make clouds look crisp and white, the effect will be at its most dramatic when you’re shooting at right angles to the sun.
When it comes to shooting water, you’ll see reflections in the surface appear and disappear as you move the filter, and you need to stop when the effect looks best.
This can take a little practice because the changes can be subtle, so take your time when rotating the filter.
One final consideration is that polarisers can reduce the exposure by up to two stops, so it can have a similar effect to an ND filter, allowing you to use slower shutter speeds than without the filter attached.
PAGE 1: Best photography accessories: Tripods
PAGE 2: Setting up your tripod & features to look for
PAGE 3: Getting the most from budget flashguns
PAGE 4: Tips for using manual flash
PAGE 5: Using neutral density filters
PAGE 6 – Filter systems explained
PAGE 7 – Using ND grad filters
PAGE 8 – Using polarisers
PAGE 9 – Common problems caused by filters
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