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Polarising filters to remove glare

Folks

An effective demo on removing glare when photographing paintings in studio.



Denis

SummerArtGal

Comments

  • Well, that looks like magic. I hope I can do it. I love to photograph my paintings so I can load them onto Photoshop and study them from a fresh perspective. 
  • @Dianna, If you have a camera that fits a screw-on polarising filter then its easy peasy.  I can post a photo or two of what my set up is if you like.
  • @Roxy   Yes, I'd love you to post a couple of photos of what your set up is like.  I have a Nikon D5000 camera - I don't think I can fit a screw-on polarising filter though.  But I want to get rid of the camera and buy a different one, so perhaps that's something I can keep in mind.
  • Dianna

    Don’t know what lens you have fitted but the standard Nikon d5000 is 52mm.
    Take your camera into the shop and ask for a circular polarising filter that fits.


    Denis
  • @dencal in addition to the circular polarizing filter did you place anything over your lights?

  • GTO

    I used a CP filter back in the days of film cameras. Photos through car windows, shop windows, water shots and a huge improvement in sky / cloud contrast. Did weddings, christenings, passport pics parties etc. as a side hustle. Had a home darkroom.

    Not found any CP filters for my new digital cameras yet.

    The CP filter I owned was a rotating pair that could be adjusted to dial in the amount of effect needed.
    Any photography with lights was manageable through positioning. Varnished paintings were not involved.

    Denis


  • Hi @GTO - yes, the linear polarising film (just looks like a plastic sheet) is placed over the lights. Using the circular polarising filter on its own is not enough - check out the video. I'll post some more pics of my setup shortly.
  • @Roxy. I watched the video and see what you mean about using the linear polarizing film over the lights.
  • @Dianna  et al, Here's my setup

    Below is my camera with the circular polarising filter removed. Dianna - it just screws onto the front of the lens. You just have to make sure you get the right size, as lenses differ in daimeter.

    The filter is sitting on what is left of the linear polarising film, which I have cut up and put into a cardboard frame, which is also visible.


    These are the lights I use - they sit behind me when I paint. I have 3 of them.


    ...and my cardboard cutout with the film just sits over the lights. I have 3 cutouts, one for each light.


    I gather it is important for the film to cover the light source, and that there to be no leakage of unfiltered light around the edges. This was easy for me as my lights are flat LEDs. If you have bulbs you may need to rig up some other arrangement like a box so the light only passes through the film. Or check out the solution in the video.

    Photos need to be taken at night or in a dark room, so that the only light illuminating the painting is that passing through the filter.

    The linear filter, plus the circular filter on the camera, means a lot of light is blocked. A tripod is therefore required to get a sharp photo.

    Think that's about it.



    CJD
  • Thanks @Roxy for posting those details.
  • CJDCJD -
    edited November 12
    I think I'll try this as well as I haven't had as much luck photographing my paintings lately. Glare is a problem when you're not painting super thinly!

    @GTO there's more good info here https://www.nitpickyartist.com/photographing-art.html
  • @Roxy the polarization film usually comes with a protective film on it.  Did you leave that on the sheet or remove it when you used the film
  • @CJD thanks for the nitpicky artist link.  That is very informative.  @Roxy I saw on the nitpicky link in CJDs comments that their lights are just positioned behind the polarization film and they didn’t seem to be. Inverness about leakage around the edge is the film.  
    Also the polarization.com guys have the best prices and you can order by the foot with a 17” width.
  • Hi @GTO - yes I removed the protective film. I think so long as no direct light sneaks around the edges of the film then I'm sure just sticking it in front would work too. In fact I see that's how its set up in the video. I only bought an A3 sheet, as that's all I needed to cover my lights - but depending on your setup and if you can buy a bigger sheet at a good price, go for it. Being in Oz I got this - https://www.amazon.com.au/Polarization-Polarizer-Educational-Physics-Polarized/dp/B0793PYDF7/ref=asc_df_B0793PYDF7/?tag=googleshopdsk-22&linkCode=df0&hvadid=341791754774&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7492214250481120845&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9071950&hvtargid=pla-568364582580&psc=1
  • Oh, wow! That's magic. I just saw this thread. I have such trouble with glare it drives me nuts. So, if I've understood correctly, I need a circular polarizer to fit over my camera lens and some sheets of linear polarizing film to put over my lights. Is that correct, @Roxy? My camera is a digital Olympus. Does it work for digital cameras? Hope so. I can't wait to try this. Thanks for posting about it, @Roxy
  • @tassieguy you will get the best price in the film at polarization.com the PF006 film $15 per ft 17” wide.  
    The circular polarizer needs to fit your lens (it screws onto the lens just like a UV lens protector.  It works with digital.  In fact you can look through just the polarizer lens after you’ve covered your lights and see the magic.
    I did notice (as Roxy pointed out) that any external light or light bouncing off other surfaces will cause glare so you will want to not let any light escape.

  • @tassieguy - as @GTO said. Yes it is like magic. You'll also want a tripod, or otherwise sit the camera on a stable surface and use the self timer to take the shot - too dark to hand-hold with the filters blocking lots of light.
  • @tassieguy one more thing.  If you have a 50mm lens use that.  It will not have as much fish eye distortion effect.  You might also set the iso to 200 and manual focus to get a good color match.  
    And as Roxy says you have to use the timer to delay the taking of the picture or you will get a blurry picture. And use the tripod.  
  •  Great.. Thanks, @GTO. Photography is terra incognita for me. Hopefully I'll be able to work it out. :)
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