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Thread: Taking Car Shots with a Circular Polarizer

  1. #1
    Z8Mania
    Guest

    Taking Car Shots with a Circular Polarizer

    Been busy the past few weeks. I remember we were discussing the use of a circular polarizer with DSLRs. I took a few quick handheld shots today. I am a big fan of polarizers for photographing shiny objects in sunlight- such as cars. I think they just give that much more pop. These shots were taken in late morning sun (about 10:45am) today. They are all ISO 200 f11 and handheld. They were shot with my 24-70mm lens and all shot @24mm. All are shot RAW and then converted using photoshops converter. Taking pictures like this to me is about capturing the feeling of being there. So a car in a bright color should POP. One thing I often do- but did not on these- is to slightly darken / richen the blue sky. The polarizer will do some of that as well. The non polarizer ones were shot with the exact same lens with a Nikon UV filter (basically what most people use just for lens protection). The circular polarizer is Nikons. What I do is turn the polarizer until I minimize the reflections on the subject. Sometimes I actually let some of the reflections back because a polarizer can cut out low level details- this is especially true for a black car.

    Heres the first shot- with polarizer
     

  2. #2
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Next shot is without polarizer. To my eyes this is not even close- the polarizer shot is so much more vibrant and actually shows better details- because the glare is such that its affecting the cameras metering.
     

  3. #3
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Next shots show what I am talking about sometimes not going full monte on the polarizer. The first shot is my letting some reflections remain. The second shot is my using the polarizer to dial out as many reflections as possible.
       

  4. #4
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Next shot is no polarizer at all.
     

  5. #5
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Final shot- front end. First one is with polarizer.
     

  6. #6
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Last shot is without polarizer. I rest my case.
     

  7. #7
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    I cant upload the Z8 RAW image from the other thread. If you want I can email it.

  8. #8
    I see why I thought there was HDR in that first shot, and I'm surprised how strong the effect is using just the polarizer. The shadows appear far more open and the ground different, but once I matched the mid grays in the shadows it made more sense. The metering appears to be affected a lot by the overall brightness of the sky and floor, and without the polarizer is underexposing a bit, but getting rid of the glare on the glass and the car really does make it stand out more. I'll have to get one of those filters and see if the effect is as pronounced on the silver and black cars.
     
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  9. #9
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    I think you understand even more than I on this but I just one day wanted to give it a try and love the results- I love the pop. Ive found with a black car you want to let some of the glare in, otherwise you lose a lot of the subtle black details and if you try to fix that later in RAW its global and makes the picture seem dull. You can address it specifically to the car with various techniques but its best to get it right in the camera first. I just put a set of MPS2 on this ride- the prior tires were Pirelli PZero and Im not a huge fan of them- they were the original tires and I was trying to wear them out But I ran over a nail.... so it was time for new rubber. I love it.

  10. #10
    I'm sticking with my PZeros because at the speeds I drive they're fine, and I like the way they look so much better, I wish Michelin would do the width I like, so I could swap over, but I really dislike that tire narrower than the rim look of the MPSS on our 20" rims.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  11. #11
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    What's weird is usually Michelin fit the wheel better. Also I've found Pirelli get better if you can really heat them up but you have to drive like a maniac on public roads to heat them up- same for Goodyear. Michelin are softer and heat up faster. In the case of the PS2, that means they wear out faster- I wore out a set of PS2 in 4k miles on the 599- all street driving! But I just love how these tires feel. They feel like they are digging into the road rather than riding on the road (most Pirellis). Michelin also is the most consistent manufacturer when it comes to road force issues. Of the last 8 PZero tires I've had on various cars: 50% of them had road force of over 50 lbs and 2 were over 125 lbs! (New tires really shouldn't be more than a few lbs of road force).

    FWIW, I am finding out the new SuperSport retains all the PS2 goodness but they actually improve on the sportiness and stickiness while lasting longer! Astonishing!