Camera tip: Use a polarizing filter

January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

The day that I decided to graduate to a DSLR and purchase my Canon Rebel, I was anxious to make sure that I had all of the equipment, within reason, to take an amazing photo.

Luckily I had a very patient and helpful camera salesman who listened to me explain what I wanted to achieve with my camera. Thankfully, he zeroed in on the fact that I intended to take the majority of my photos outdoors and then helped me to understand the unparalleled benefits of investing in a polarizing filter.

Polarizing filter? (I didn’t know what this was)

This is what the filter looks like.

My definition: a slim round piece of glass that threads on to the end of your lens to take away glare and enrich the colors of your outdoor photos. Below is a visual aid to demonstrate the difference this lens can make.

You can see how the colors are more saturated inside the filter ring.

I take a lot of my photos near the water on sunny days and the intense glare that water creates can distort your picture. Grass can take on a yellow hue and anything that is white becomes blinding.

The polarizing filter fixes this. Here are more visual examples.

This was taken on a very bright day but the filter took away any glare.

I love this filter. It has enhanced my photos more than I could have imagined. If you love to take photos outdoors and don’t have one, I hope that I have been able to point you in the right direction!



Camera tip: use your flash on sunny days.

January 13, 2011 § 3 Comments

This camera tip is one of my favorites to share. Use your flash in the daytime, especially on sunny days.

It might seem unusual to use your flash on a sunny day because there is already an abundance of light, but that is actually what can cause a great photo to be plagued by shadows and darkness.

In a situation like this, your camera assumes that your light source is sufficient for the photo and is unable to recognize that your subject is actually ‘in the dark’.

When I forced the flash on, the shadow lightened up considerably and the depth of the colors in the photo improved as well.

You can fix this by forcing your camera to “flash”. Look on your camera for the lightening bolt symbol. Mine is near the side of my lens near the front of the camera. Many cameras, even point and shoots, will allow you to press this button and override the Auto mode forcing the flash to activate when taking your photos.

In both photos I was standing directly in front of the subject on a bright sunny day. The only difference is the flash.

Press the lightening bolt several times and your camera will go through different flash options with you. In some of cases, one of those options is “fill flash”. This is ideal because it will tone down the amount of flash output so that you won’t overexpose your subject.

Go ahead and try it! You will not be disappointed.


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