We love to travel on a good sunny day because we all know good sunlight brings beautiful colours to our travel photos. You cannot imagine how desperate I was for some bright sun and clear sky on my visit to Beijing. Having said that, too much and too bright a sunlight doesn’t make any good either. It will create a high contrast scene that will challenge your DSLR dynamic range capability and hence lead to an otherwise blown out and dull colour photo. How could we avoid this?
After some experiences from my previous travels, I learned that undesired lighting conditions on any travel is not unusual at all. We have to overcome these lighting condition effectively so we can capture breathtaking travel photos without blowing out any details of an image. Take the below photo I shot at Hakone Lake Ashi shore for example.
The strong evening sun from 90° angle between the pirate boat and me at the shore had rendered a super duper high contrast scene in front of me. Where I stood was supposed to be the perfect angle to capture the pirate boat at dock but, bad timing of day did not allow me to get a beautiful image.
This is happening to many of us too common too easily, especially when we are vacationers who only stop briefly at a travel destination. If you look at the image above, blown-out highlight details can never be salvaged with any post processing actions. Even if you compensate the exposure value of your camera to retain the highlight details and boost the shadow details later on with Photoshop, the process will never be easy and the result will never be great.
Thanks god, there is an easier way to overcome this- Polarizing filter.
Take a look at the above image. It was shot at the same angle at the same time but with the circular polarizer screwed onto my Nikkor lens. Bingo! The polarizing filter has successfully cut down drastically the reflection of sunlight from the ship and the lake! The result was an image with colourful scene of the pirate boat, dock and Lake Ashi. All these changes came from an extra piece of glass in front of our camera and that was it! This is the easiest way and best way to capture high contrast scenes on your travel.
Polarizing filter is one of the ‘must-have’ little camera lens filters to bring along your every travel in order to improve your travel photography skills. Enjoy your next photography travel! - Travel Feeder, your ultimate travel photo blog