Stirring & Stylish: Distinctively Dark Imagery

Posts Tagged ‘polarizer’

HIKE – a polarizing filter at work

In Shoots on July 11, 2010 at 4:44 am

I don’t want this blog to become a techies dream, but from time to time it’s important to discuss some aspect of filmmaking from that point of view. After all, film is a very technical medium.

On Wednesday I was off in the bush working on some B-roll footage for HIKE, a short horror film about…well I guess you’ll just have to see it for yourselves. One of the most useful tools for making daytime exteriors look great, especially when it’s sunny, is a polarizing filter. Looking at the two images the differences are quite clear. A polarizing filter blocks light vibrating in a particular plane. When the light emitted or reflected off an object vibrates all in the same plane (therefore the light is polarized), and one spins the polarizing filter to a perpendicular plane it blocks the polarized light. This is why some blue skies are darkened and the blue deepened when using a polarizer. The same is true for reflections off of water and glass. These direct reflections are called glare.

On an overcast day the polarizer’s effects are reduced, but it can still help reduce glare – darkening foliage and reducing reflections off of glass and water.

A polarizer is the first filter I would recommend anyone to put in his or her kit.

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Shooting Exteriors

In Uncategorized on July 7, 2010 at 6:22 am

I’m shooting a series of exteriors for the short horror film HIKE tomorrow, and very much looking forward to chance to get outside now that the beautiful weather has arrived.

I’m hoping this will be a great chance to break out the polarizer. We’re shooting on the 5D, and with it’s limited dynamic range the sunshine might prove problematic. I’m expecting we’ll have to underexpose the image somewhat to keep the highlights within range, and with a pola we should be able to get some absurdly dark skies. Perfect for a horror film!

I’ll post up a few still from the days shoot on Thursday or Friday.

I will also try my best to remember my sunscreen! Burning bad, dark blue skies good!