Aloha … so you are coming to Hawaii and want to take stunning landscape photographs capturing the incredible colors of sky and sea on our Oahu photo tours.
On tours I am asked frequently “How can I get the beautiful colors of the water that you have here in Hawaii?”
Answer: Circular Polarizing Filter
We get a lot of sun and we are surrounded by water. When you sign up for a tour I recommend bringing a polarizing filter. Why? Well … this is the one addition you’ll need for landscape photos that will have you printing to hang on your walls when you return home.
The Circular Polarizing Filter is like sun glasses for your camera. It will boost color, bring out details and reduce photo killing glare with a quick 180 degree rotation.
This fairly inexpensive filter will give your landscape photos the “Wow” factor. Here are the benefits:
- Increase Color Saturation and Details. Especially for skies this filter will give you deeper blues and at the same time you’ll achieve more details in your puffy clouds.
- Reduces Glare. When the sun is high up and bright there is glare on water. This glare prevents the colors of the water coming through. When using this filter it will allow you to capture the true color of the water and sometimes allows you to actually see below the surface.
- Reflections Reduction. Daylight creates reflections where you don’t want them. This filter will reduce and in some situations eliminate the annoying reflections.
Another benefit is that the filter will protect your lens from scratches and if you drop it …it may take the impact and save your lens.
When buying a polarizing filter you’ll need the size of your diameter of the lens that you’ll attach it to. Most lenses – not all – have it written in very tiny type on the front of the lens. Some diameter sizes range from 52-58mm, 62-67mm, 72-77mm.
There are several brands of polarizing filters. Here are some of the most popular – Hoya, Tiffen, and B+W .Buy according to your budget. Keep in mind the higher priced glass will produce more dramatic effects.
How to Use
Very easy. You’ll notice that this filter has 2 parts. An inner ring and an outer ring. There are threads to the filters. Screw the filter onto your lens. WARNING – Do not stack filters. If you have a clear UV filter on your lens take it off before attaching the polarizing one.
Now when you look through your viewfinder you’ll see the effect as you turn the outside ring.
Depending on the intensity of the sun and it’s direction you’ll notice that the sky will darken and the clouds will have more detail. If you are photographing water notice the color and clarity.
Sometimes there is a dramatic impact on your photos and other times more subtle. This has to do with the amount of light and the direction of the sun in relationship to your shot. If the sun is directly behind the effect may be minimal. A 90 degree angle will give you more dramatic results.
Note: There is no need to use this filter when shooting indoors, portraits, cloudy days or in low light situations.
We look forward to meeting you on tour. Bring all your gear and of course….a polarizing filter.