A Great Example Of What A Polarizing Filter Does

Many of you may know what a polarizer does in theory, but you may have never seen a side by side comparison like this. The video below from OliviaTech does a great job of showing examples of this filter in use. If you shoot outside, or reflective subjects, a polarizer like this one is a must have.

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Filip Wesołowski's picture

She literally couldn't make it simpler. Awesome job on explaining and perfect comparison shots.

Geoffrey Bell's picture

Informative, but I think her explanation is a little off regarding the studio scene.  The reason the laptop's monitor went black was due to a technique called cross polarization.  Most laptop screens have a linear polarizer built into them.  When the polarizing axis of the CPL is adjusted in perpendicular alignment to the laptop's polarizer, the screen would appear black.  This technique has been around for a long time, but isn't used that much anymore.  It is used, however, in those vari-polarizing filters like the one from Singh-ray.

All in all, good info for a beginner.

She said it doesn't change the exposure. That's wrong in my opinion. A polarizer takes about 1 - 2 f-stops or more, depending on the filter.

Yeah thats true too, so lowering the exposure helps in darkening the colors.
But it still helps achieve better color.

CheesyCam's picture

Placing a polarizer on the lens will cut down a few stops, but turning the polarizer around shouldn't change the exposure afterwards.

I was not prepared for the attractiveness of Olivia- awesome advice though, always thought polarizers were just for water reflections, but the last tree example sold me.

I'm pretty sure she's using a linear polarizing filter, not a circular one as stated. Circular would be the same as it is rotated. Linear changes the image based on the angle of the polarization, as in her examples.

Ben Klaus's picture

No, circular polarizers change as you rotate them. And I agree with some of the others, this is misleading, a polarizer does change exposure, 1-2 stops.

good god-- im buying whatever she's selling.. excellent video

Great video, Though I'd like to point out to everyone that she never said that putting a polarizer on wouldn't change your exposure, she was saying that by TURNING the polarizer it changes the shot without needing to then adjust the exposure.   So you're not going from no polarizer to polarizer, you're going from polarizer, to twisted polarizer...   hence no adjustments to exposure are needed...

A bit imprecise on the technical details - it's not “light coming from one direction”, and the notion of “the true colors” is puzzling at best, but very effectively demonstrates how it works. Also, nice earrings!

Correct, it doesn't block light "coming from one direction." (i.e. from above, from the right, etc.) If this were the case, all of the light coming from the water would have been blocked out and you wouldn't see anything.
More accurately, a polarizer blocks certain angles of light. The waves that reflect off of the surface of the water are at a different angle than the waves that come from under the water. This is why fishermen use polarized sunglasses - it allows them to see the fish under the water by reducing the glare.

Thomas Sorgaard's picture

how does this come out if you combine it with a model and flash?

Patrick Hall's picture

Should look fine.  When would you need to do that though?  Maybe outside with dramatic skies?  Just remember your flash will have to be 1-2 stops more powerful

gp's picture

She needs to do more videos, daily, on any kind of random stuff as long as she's in them. :)
Good explanation on how the polarizing filter works though and being easy on the eyes helps too.

A great video to post. Nice, simple explanation. I have a CP in my bag everywhere I go. Not only great for scenery shots, but great for automotive shots to kill the reflections on windows or body of the car. 

Good vid and thanks Olivia!
Before this, I didn't understand anything about filters!

MARK P's picture

She is now number one in my list of Olivia