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Yellow leaves | by jpctalbot
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Yellow leaves

Maple tree in the final yellowish color phase before the leaves fall off. I used a Hoya circular polarizer to reduce sky haze by 50%, this enhanced the saturation of the blue linearly polarized component of scattered sunlight . I also positioned myself and the polarizer angle to boost leaf color by eliminating the white specular reflection component. It can be quite tricky to optimize both polarizer angle and the camera x-y-z position. For non-DSLR users the LCD viewfinders automatic gain impedes the determination of optimum polarization angle because the luminosity does not change as you rotate the filter. Polarized sunglasses were used to find the 'sweet' spot because sunglasses have a very wide field of view, are easier to rotate and allow you to spot and eliminate specular reflection glints because these are often very small but numerous and very difficult to see on a small LCD screen. The strong blue color gradient is due to preferential linear polarization of scattered sunlight with a maximum at 90 degrees from the Sun projected on the sky. To reduce noise I used the lowest ISO setting and a tripod to increase exposure time to compensate for the light loss in the polarizer. For more examples of exotic sky effects consult the Polarizer Pool.


-Added to the Cream of the Crop pool as most favorited.

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Taken on October 12, 2004