Pre-emptive edit (of sorts): Oh jeez, I just realized there is a whole other thread covering polarizing filters HERE. Sorry about that
So you may recognize me as the cheapskate college student all too struggling to get himself a DSLR, and the one who got lucky with that hand-me-down D40 with only 4 pulls on the trigger
That's enough background information for now, I guess, so here's the catch:
Below you see my entry for the February 'on-assignment' contest, mildly processed for increased contrast and a little warming-up of the colors and there you have it
Gear: Nikon D40 with standard-issue 18-55 mm kit lens
Focal length: 31 mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Shutter speed: 1/125 sec
Exposure compensation: -1 EV
ISO speed: 200
You see, while the boats, the buildings and the sea have all been exposed rather nicely (at least by 'second-day-out-with-the-first-DSLR' standards), the sky is literally blown out into oblivion. Now I think there's more to this than just bad shooting -- The abundance of subjects dictates a small aperture, the camera decides on the shutter speed and I'm already one full-stop down on the EV and I believe anything lower will destroy the boats instead.
Now, I know that the time of shooting (around 3 pm) is not the best for getting great colors, avoiding harsh reflections or a blown-out sky -- I would be much better off if I kept my landscape shooting to 'sweeter' hours, that's right. However, my busy and awkward schedule seems to limit me to these 'inappropriate' hours for the bulk of my shooting, when the sun is still well-up (and it will be even more well-up as we are headed for summer).
So I did some research, and found out that a circular polarizing filter could be the remedy to my issues. However, that piece of gear is rather expensive (starting off at $60 and all the way up from there) and I find it excruciating to find a 52 mm version to fit my kit lens.
So my question is -- do I really have to get one of these to avoid these blotchy skies, or can I get away with it by shooting in RAW and throwing in some good post-processing?
P.S. This whole 'filters' thing could also be an idea for a workshop, I guess? That's also why I post this down here.