STEP BY STEP HOW TO CREATE MORE INTENSE SKIES
Set up your Canon camera, lens and polarizing filter to capture better skies and reflections in scenes
01 CAMERA & LENS
Any Canon EOS camera is fine for polarizer scenic shots. We used a Canon 5D Mk IV. It’s the lens that’s key, you want a focal length of 24mm (or 18mm on APS-C cameras) or longer as polarizer filter effects have trouble with wider angle focal lengths.
04 TWIST & SHOOT!
Once you’re set up at right-angles to the sun and your scene, and have framed up the best composition, all you need to do is twist the end of your polarizer filter until the blues and clouds in the sky get darker and become punchy when looking through the viewfinder.
02 FILTER SIZE
You’ll need a polarizing filter that’s the same size diameter as your lens; our Canon EF 24-105mm f/4l IS II USM lens requires a 77mm filter. The diameter is marked on the lens in millimetres and is usually prefixed with a Ø symbol.
05 EXPOSURE SETTINGS
We shot in Manual mode for full control with an aperture fixed at f/11. As the polarizer reduces light to your sensor by roughly 1-2 stops, we had to adjust our shutter speed from 1/100 to 1/60 sec. We also used a tripod for sharp shots regardless.
03 SHOOT AT RIGHT-ANGLES
The polarizing effect is most pronounced when the sun light is at 90 degrees to the scene – it has little impact when shooting with the sun behind you. Top trick: Point your thumb at the sun and your fore finger will point in the direction you should shoot!
06 REDUCE REFLECTED LIGHT
In our shot the polarizing effect has also reduced the brighter distracting reflections on the roof of the buildings, and helped to boost the contrast and blues in the muddy water for more pleasing reflections of the buildings and sky in the lake.