Two great polarizing filter effects

By Ian Middleton

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This website and its articles contain links and adverts. The adverts and some links, but not all, are affiliate links. This means that if you click and buy something I will receive a small percentage of money, but at no extra cost to you. The price remains the same if you buy.

The polarizing filter is an essential part of your photography kit

If you don’t have a polarizing filter in your camera bag, then you are missing out big time. It’s the one filter I and most other photographers just wouldn’t be without. But what does it do exactly? I’ll show you two great effects.

We most commonly use a polarizing filter in harsh light, typically later in the day when the sun is up high and the colours are starting to look washed out. It’s most obvious and well-known effect is to darken blue skies and add definition to clouds. It also boosts contrast and colour. The images below of a church at Kropa, Slovenia, illustrate this, both with and without the use of a polarizing filter. See how the sky is deeper blue, the clouds are more defined and the colour on the trees is warmer and more vivid.

Polarizing filter effects

Cutting out haze

Another, perhaps lesser-known effect of a polarizing filter is that it cuts out haze. This is how it makes blue skies look more blue. But this effect also works on mountains. Look at the two photos below of Jamnik Church in Slovenia:

Polarizing filter effects

So if you haven’t got one, get out there now and add this great filter to your camera kit. I recommend these two makes. I used the Hoya Pro Digital circular polariser for these two images above, which I still have. I also now use a Kase magnetic filter that came with their K9 filter holder. You can see what I think of this in the video below.

Get the right size for your lens

Be sure to check the diameter size of your lens so that you buy the right size filter. To do this, look on the front of your lens for the diameter in millimetres. As an example you can see on the right-hand side of the lens in the photo here is 77mm.

Watch my video on using the Kase polarising filter for skies and more defined clouds

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View of the ruins of Smlednik Castle with Storzic mountain, part of the Kamnik Alps, behind, Slovenia.
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Smlednik Castle & the Kamnik Alps

There are many lovely castles in Slovenia, but the old ruined castle at Smlednik is possibly the most interesting. In particular, the views from the top are some of the best in the country.

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SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER AND GET
25% OFF MY PRINTS & A FREE EBOOK

Subscribe and receive my regular newsletter to get the latest information about my workshops, new tutorials, videos, new photos and more.

All new subscribers get an exclusive 25% discount code off prints of my photos from my online shop plus a free download of my ebook: A Practical Guide to Photography. Code and download link will be emailed to you upon successful signup

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This website and its articles contain links and adverts. The adverts and some links, but not all, are affiliate links. This means that if you click and buy something I will receive a small percentage of money, but at no extra cost to you. The price remains the same if you buy.

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