Here’s a similar shot from a recent visit to Buescher State Park in Smithville, Texas taken ultra-wide at 17mm. When shooting at this focal length it’s important to use a thin CP filter and watch how you use it.

Polarizing filters will tend to create dark areas on images taken at the very wide end of your zoom lens. Without getting too technical it’s caused by how the CP filter polarizes light and the angle at which the light hits the filter. The easiest way to prevent this is to dial back a little bit on your polarizer. This also creates a stronger reflection in the water.

Many folks ask why I use the Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer instead of a “neutral” polarizer. Here’s the thing. Some polarizers are not really “neutral” since they use glass which tends to “shift” the polarized light to the blue end of the spectrum. You can test your polarizer for this easily by adding a solid neutral density filter on top of your CP filter. Even with your camera set on a “daylight” white balance your image will still have a blue cast to it.

The Singh-Ray polarizers don’t seem have this problem, at least not in my simple tests. Singh-Ray now offers a “lighter/brighter” neutral polarizer as well but I still like the very subtle warming provided by the original filter. For me, it beats spending hours playing around with the white balance in camera or in Lightroom.


Encore – Smithville, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 17mm, f/16 for 1/15th of a second at ISO 100 with a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

View Location on Panoramio & Google Earth: Encore – Smithville, Texas