How Elia Locardi Uses Circular Polarizers To Photograph Seascapes

Hello again everyone! It's time to release the third episode of our 8-part video tutorial series about long exposure photography, and how different filters can produce dramatic results. Remember, each time we release a new video, we also give away some awesome prizes. Read through this post to find out how to enter this week's contest.

In the previous episode, we examined the limits of dragging the shutter in-camera against using 3, 6, and 10 stop solid neutral density filters. Very quickly, we learned how exposure times of 5 seconds to 1 minute can completely transform the look and feel of an image. And while there are certainly some Photoshop techniques that can simulate a long exposure effect, when it comes to water, it's very difficult to replicate the long exposure effect in post-processing.

In this episode, I wanted to ramp up the complexity with the filter choices along with the subject itself. The goal was to find a unique low composition where I could take advantage of the rushing motion of the water as it surged directly towards my camera. Along with the streaks of water creating leading lines, I wanted to take it a step further by using the Polarizing Filter that comes with the NiSi V7 Filter Holder Kit.

NiSi's V7 Kit comes with a built in circular polarizer

I'm very selective with the times I use a polarizer in my photography. Specifically, I like to look for situations when there is a need to mitigate or remove reflections from a surface. In this example, by removing the reflection in the foreground, I can see through the water close to my camera and reveal details and textures below the surface. Without a polarizer, reflective surfaces tend to pick up too much ambient and/or direct light from the sky, and while sometimes reflections are ideal, if there are solid composition elements below the surface, having the option to reveal them is a must.

In the next episode, we'll combine all of this seascape knowledge together and capture a very unique and difficult to access location.

Don't forget to enter this new contest and follow along with this series as we explore more of Puerto Rico and discover more about long exposure photography. If you are new to photography and want to dive deep into my full blown workflow as I travel around the globe with the guys from Fstoppers, be sure to check out my series Photographing the World

Elia Locardi's picture

Elia Locardi is an internationally recognized professional travel photographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, writer, public speaker & educator who spends his life shooting some of the most beautiful locations in the world. Location independent since 2012—he and his wife live a 100% mobile lifestyle and have visited more than 50 countries since 2009.

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Elia Locardi what waterproof shoes are those? Lol
Serious questions though

They certainly look like OluKai Nohea Moku. I own a pair of Moloā slippers and ‘Ohana sandals, they are super, super comfortable!