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Lesson 4 from: How to Get Started in Nature Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

4. Filters

Next Lesson: Tripods

Lesson Info


There are a few filters that have survived the change from film to digital, and one of the most important is the polarizing filter. I would never leave my home without polarizer sze for my lenses, they do an amazing job at reducing reflections. What you'll do is you'll screw this filter on the lands, and then you will be able to continue to turn it for either maximum impact or minimum impact. So this is horse you bed down in arizona nice easy place to get to it's only a mile off the road and I have a polarizer set to the minimum position. Notice the water and the reflections of the clouds in the water when I turn the polarizer, we've gone to maximum polarizing now look at the color of the water, let me go back to minimum, and you can see this right through the viewfinder of your camera. In fact, if you're lazy, you don't even need to pull out your camera just pull out the polarizer, hold it in front of your eye and turn it, and whenever I do this, just this little side tip don't wear p...

olarised sunglasses while you're looking through the camera gets very hard to see your subjects because they crossed things out. Occasionally I'll record short video clips of me turning the polarizer and this is up in the skagit valley just north of seattle at the tulip festival and you can notice how much impact turning a polarizer has on the reflections in glare coming off those flowers I was recently down at mount rainier and here's an example of turning the polarizer this is what it looks like in my camera I'm not making any exposure adjustments I'm obviously not doing anything photoshopped here I'm just going for minimum to maximum polarizing that you can see how much it's changed that skye has a huge impact when the sun is at a ninety degree angle because you can see the sun is coming from the right hand side casting shadows and this is where it has its greatest impact in some situations you will see zero impact from it because it doesn't work pointed at the sun or directly away from the sun it works ninety degrees to the sun this is an example of it working in the forest I hadn't really thought about using it in the forest but then I thought about the light coming straight down casting a lot of white reflections off this leaf so let's use the polarizer and now we can see the true green of that leave and so even in the forest on a cloudy day you could make a very, very good use of a polarizer perhaps the most dramatic experience I'm sorry I'm a little obsessed with this but when I go out and shoot I'm often shooting photos without and with polarizer just to reinforce and used to do it yourself just to reinforce how important isso this is monument valley in arizona without a polarizer and without any other changes other than turning the polarizer on it incredible deference I mean it looked like there was a a white cloudy day on it was actually nice blue sky but just the way the dust and the particles were in the air on the way the polarizer can cut through it but having settled this remember it has zero impact in some situations it depends on where the light is and what type of light it works best with one strong significant light source the sun and for instance in a studio like this where we have multiple lights all over the place a polarizer would have virtually no impact at all. So the polarizing filter the main reason you're going to use it is to reduce reflections it is going to increase the saturation and increases the blue in the sky but there is a warning that goes along with using it and that warning is that it steals about two stops light depends on exactly which polarizer and how intense you have it but you're going to lose a couple stops the light so I find myself almost always having to use a tripod unless I'm in full, bright sunlight.

Class Materials

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Nature and Landscape Course Notes

Ratings and Reviews

Danette Zak

I got this course for free thru View Bug and John Greengo is an amazing teacher. He explains nature photography with a sense of ease and he really makes you want to get out there and keep trying to get THE photo, that the day you go out there may not be the right day or right time, but to keep trying and you'll get it! He also encourages you to get out there to the same places other great photographers have been and make it your own, to get your own experiences. Yes, I recommend this course and any courses he instructs, I hope to take another one of his courses in the near future!

a Creativelive Student

Very instructive! And John Greengo is a great teacher. He knows very well how to go deeply without putting you in a difficult situation. I have followed almost all of his courses, and this one is one of the best! Don't hesitate if you are a beginner or even and advanced photographer interested in Nature photography.

Vilius Senkus

Perfect class, loved it. Short, concentrated, nice examples, pasionate speaker. Just want to grab my cam and go apply new knowledges.

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