Great White Shark Photography

Started Jan 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
dwa1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,832
Re: Great White Shark Photography

Chris 88 wrote:

PepsiCan wrote:

But in such a case I would actually use a polarizer filter instead. This type of filter removes glare from water, so you'll have fewer issues with the water causing your metering to be thrown off.

I read that it's inadvisable to use a polarized filters on anything but a tripod as the light reducing effect has to be compensated by an increase in shutter speed and/or aperture. I also found that the general recommendation was that it's only used in bright conditions, but I will be shooting at sun rise so I expect it to be a little grey out.

As I will be on a rocky boat in (probably) overcast condition it seemed to me that 'the internet' would suggest not using a polarized filter in these condition as it will cause image blur.

I like the idea of cutting down the glare from the water and seeing 'into' the water more but not at the loss of sharpness to the shark.

I have no experience in these matters just going on what I've researched so tell me if I've got it wrong!


I use CPs all of the time in bright daylight (although I have not done breaching Great Whites). It really brings out the detail for me in things like butterfly wings, bird feathers. I have used these for many years. A CP reveals details (textures and colors) that would otherwise be obscured by bright reflections of light.

I would recommend these items...

B+W KSM CPs. These are excellent CP filters. I normally buy oversize filters and step up rings so that I can use them with multiple lenses. Then I use screw-on metal lens hoods. This makes it very easy to quickly adjust the CP so that it has the minimum effect needed for the expected shots. I say "minimum effect" to help keep the shutter speeds up.

If you get CP filters that match the lens filter size and try to use the original / std lens hood, then you'll have to reach inside the hood in order to adjust the CP. This is by no means "fast".

Tips - When adjusting the CP, rotate it (using the screw-on lens hood) in a direction that would tighten the CP filter - counter-clockwise. This way they will not get loose during adjustments. You will need a set of filter wrenches too. I haven't found any good ones yet (they are flimsy plastic and difficult to use) - but needed at times to remove the step up rings). You can use standard lens caps on the end of the screw-on hoods.

If you need more shutter speed, don't be afraid to under-expose. You'll have plenty of "shadow recovery wiggle room" in post.

Hope this helps and may your trip be blessed beyond anything that you could ask for or even imagine.


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