Circular Polarizer: Acquired Taste

I was on my way to an 8am meeting when I saw the Union Church of Manila building on Rada Street, Makati beautifully illuminated by the yellowish-warm early morning sun. I see this building a lot, but usually at midday or afternoons and it wasn’t as majestic. Sometimes, the time of day makes a big difference in lighting your subject.

I immediately saw this as a photo op. Good thing I had my camera with me, so I parked the car and took a few shots.



I used a Hoya Circular Polarizer for these shots, as I want to experiment with them more. I automatically screw on that filter whenever I shoot outdoors and with abundant sunlight. As you can see (or not see), highlights–the bright, washed out portions of a shot–are non-existent even when shooting a white building in bright sunlight. That’s the filter in action. I can imagine the filter being especially useful when shooting in snow or at the beach.

Most of us who are used to seeing highlights in photos may find the pics above to be a little “flat” or underexposed, even. I’m still getting used to it myself. For me it’s the photographic equivalent of seeing the world through Ray-Bans.