Friday, October 23, 2009

Photo Tip Friday - My Favorite Filter - The Polarizer

Photo Tip Friday - My Favorite Filter - The Polarizer

blue skies and waters heightened by a polarizer

In last week's post I mentioned a problem that my polarizer filter was causing with my lens.

Theresa, over at Out in the Backyard asked what a polarizer was used for, and I am glad she did because it is my favorite filter.

Everyone loves a deep blue ocean and a beautiful blue sky overhead.

Many times the sky seems a bit washed out, and the glare on the water doesn't allow the deep colors to show up in an image.

So, how does a photographer get those vivid blues?

They use their trusty polarizer filter.

And not only does that polarizer make the blue colors more vivid, it enhances the reds and greens also.

It effectively removes reflections from glass and water so you can see beneath the surface with more depth.

A little piece of magic that I would never be without - especially since I love nature and landscape photography.

I keep it on my lens at all times - I have one for each lens.

Since this filter "spins" to increase the polarizing effect, you can effectively turn it so that it doesn't work at all if you do not need it.

One thing to keep in mind if you keep it on the camera at all times - you need to adjust your exposure.

As with all filters, it is another "layer" for the light go through, and adjusting for the exposure compensates for this.

A circular polarizer is a must for digital cameras with autofocus lenses. A Linear one does not work with an AF lens.

Keep in mind that the polarizer also tends to "cool" down the overall tone of the image, so I recommend a Moose's Polarizer filter which includes an 81a warming filter built into it to put the "warmth" back into the photo.

Spending a little more for a quality polarizer is really worth it in the end - it is the best little helper a photographer can have!


  1. I will keep this in mind during my next outting with the camera. I'll watch for the things you talk about to see if I run into glare problems. Then, I'll add that filter to my list of things to get! Thank you for explaining!

  2. I love the polarizer too. I just need to remember to bring it with me more often. Wish I'd had it last week in Florida... (bad photographer!) :-)

  3. I'm not into photography, but I love seeing pictures of nature and beautiful landscapes

  4. All I have right now is a Sony Cyber shot. I love the camera for it's simplicity, but my Pentax takes much better pictures. I want a good camera so bad. I love to take pictures. I post them every Sunday and after viewing these here, realize I really need a better camera.

  5. What a beautiful picture, I am trying to learn about photography, what a great resource you have here

  6. I love the polarizer so much I leave it on my camera. But I do forget to adjust the exposure for it. Thanks for the reminder!


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