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Polarizing Camera Lens Filter

We have all taken what we expected to be a beautiful scenic photo, only to find that the resulting image appeared washed out compared to the way our eyes have perceived the original scene. This used to drive me crazy, and I would waste hours trying to reproduce what I had seen through the use of an image editor.

Scenic Photo Using a Polarizing Filter
Scenic Photo Using a Polarizing Filter

Learning to use a polarizing camera lens filter can make a tremendous difference in the depth of color for your outdoor pictures. These filters work much in the same way that polarized sunglasses do by reducing the reflective glare.

Scenic Photo Without Polarizing Filter
Scenic Photo Without Polarizing Filter

Scenic Photo Using a Polarizing Filter
Scenic Photo Using a Polarizing Filter

It takes some practice when you first start working with a polarizing filter to make sure you don’t end up with results that are too dark.

You can either study up on the exact settings you need to change when using a filter, or you can use my favorite method of learning. I simply keep experimenting until I get the results that most closely resemble the natural appearance of the original scene.

J. Cricket Walker

Small Business Marketing Consultant and Scenic Photographer
Copyright © 2006 J. Cricket Walker of Online Photography Magazine All Rights Reserved

  1. BRIAN SADLER
    BRIAN SADLER01-09-2008

    I AM FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN 35 MM FILM LOWER THAN 400 ASA [ESPECIALLY WHEN ON LOCATION IE AWAY FROM THE CITY]. THE PROBLEM IS THAT WHEN SHOOTING BRIGHT DAYLIGHT SCENES LIKE BEACHES AND THE LIKE, EVEN AT MAX SHUTTER SETTINGS AND STOPPED DOWN TO MINIMUM .22 I AM STILL GOING TO OVER EXPOSE.

    QUESTION: IS A POLARISING FILTER THE SOLUTION. I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR ADVICE.

    BRIAN SADLER

    BRISBANE AUSTRALIA

  2. J. Cricket Walker
    J. Cricket Walker01-09-2008

    I use a digital camera, but the concepts are basically the same. Like you, I had trouble with scenes that were brightly lit in the manner you describe, the filters have made all the difference in the world. It is still going to be trial and error to get the exact settings that you want, but I think you will be please.

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