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Bad Results With Polarizer Before Dusk


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#1 donovangreene

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 08:48 PM

I've been shooting with an HVX and a Tiffen circular polarizer and it looks great during the day, or in early morning, but for some reason I get a terrible result an hour or two before sunset. The sky changes colors from pale grey to light blue, and I get a light blue halo around my subject, especially when he moves his arms or face you can see ghosting occuring.

Attached is an example of the problem.

What is going on?

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  • badpola.jpg

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#2 Alfeo Dixon

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:15 PM

No a Pola issue, looks more like a color balance issue. Are you using auto white? this could be part of the color shifting your getting, because at that time of day, the direct sunlight is alot warmer and your shadow areas are starting to go blue.

Also because your severely over exposing your background and sky, your at the limits of where the camera is clipping at the shoulder of its range.

Edited by Alfeo Dixon, 10 December 2008 - 10:16 PM.

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#3 donovangreene

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 12:26 AM

Oh I see. There's a hill behind me and after about 3PM the sun dips behind it, so I have to open my iris wider to get my foreground subject decently exposed, which blows out the background. Unfortunately in this situation no bounces or lighting is a possibility for a variety of reasons. I need to adjust my color balance it seems like, but it's not related to the polarizer.

Thanks,
Donovan
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 10:00 PM

That just looks to me like you're right on the edge of blowing out the sky. You're blowing out the lower part and not blowing put (barely) the upper part where the pola darkens it the most. I think you would find that if you stopped down and lit the talent, you would have a nice saturated blue sky.

The ghost happens in motion blue because the average of the sky with the dark moving hand causes the sky exposure to come in below the white clip point.

Edited by Chris Keth, 11 December 2008 - 10:02 PM.

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#5 Dominic Cochran

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 11:05 PM

Is there a reason story-wise to show so much sky? Why couldn't you raise the camera up a little higher and get further back with a longer lens? You're on the right track though using that pola, it's definitely a good start. If you could reframe AND take Chris' suggestion and get some light on the talent you should be good.
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#6 Dominic Cochran

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 11:09 PM

I should add that the framing isn't bad, I actually kind of like it. It's just challenging since 80% of your frame is HOT sky, so my suggestion would be the easy way out. If you want to keep that framing the same and avoid your problem, you're going to need a LOT of light on your subject and perhaps shoot at a different time of day.
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