The truth about polarizing filters

The truth about polar­iz­ing fil­ters is that every pho­tog­ra­pher should have one in his/her bag at all times. It is pos­si­bly THE sin­gle most impor­tant and‚ use­ful photo acces­sory you’ll own. When there is light out­doors, this fil­ter is on my cam­era the vast major­ity of the time.

A CPOL (cir­cu­lar polar­iz­ing fil­ter) can be used any time you’re in the out­doors, espe­cially in the bright sun. It reduces reflec­tions, and deepens/saturates col­ors like a blue sky. In bright sun,‚ you’ll often get skies that are blown out if you don’t use this fil­ter. It makes the sky much bluer and richer look­ing in many cases with­out really affect­ing the other tones in the image. You will note the great­est results when the sun is low in the sky (so early morn­ing and later afternoon/evening). The CPOL will not help your color and sat­u­ra­tion much on over­cast days, or when the sun is high in the sky.

For more infor­ma­tion on this amaz­ing lit­tle gad­get, includ­ing a lit­tle insight into the ‘rule of thumb’ when using a CPOL, visit this link on polar­iz­ers in our pho­tog­ra­phy forum

Here’s a link from B&H where you can look at or pur­chase dif­fer­ent polar­iz­ers.
Buy­ing from this link helps sup­port our site.


  1. philippe says:

    Not a good test pic, you are under­ex­pos­ing the mid­dle mak­ing the sky look darker.

  2. Maggie says:

    Thanks for the tip and I agree that polar­iz­ing fil­ters do make a huge dif­fer­ence espe­cially with clouds and shots of shal­low water.

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