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Old Oct 10, 2012, 8:56 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 379
Default Polarizer Basics

Hello all,
Wanted to share a small lesson for beginner photographers.

Polarizers are one of the most basic accessories that a landscape/nature photographer can have in his/her camera bag. The effects of which may be a complete mystery to a beginner.

First a polarizer can either enhance a reflection or reduce/remove a reflection from a surface such as water. I am not going to go into detail on how this is done, but there are articles on Outdoor Photographer's website that go over this in depth. Below are two photos taken and the same edits were applied in Adobe Photoshop CS6. Sometimes a reflection can add to the photo, such as a sunrise over a lake and getting a mirror reflection of a colorful sky. But with the example below you can see that the reflection distracts the viewer from the main element. By rotating the filter on a circular polarizer you can control how much of the effect is done. Just by looking through the viewfinder the effect will be immediately visible. One of the biggest mistakes I believe one can make is to purchase a cheap filter. There are reasons why the same thing made by two different companies can have a big price difference. The quality of the glass is the biggest factor on quality of the image.

I hope this example helps out other photographers on understanding what a polarizer may be able to do for them.

With Polarizer filter attached

Without Polarizer:

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Old Oct 12, 2012, 2:58 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Spain, Costa Blanca.
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I hate to say this but I prefer the second. It gives a 3d effect whilst the first appears very flat. I understand what you are saying about polarizing filters, I use them too.
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