What else should be in your camera bag?

Let’s Talk Polarizers

When you first purchased you camera, you were probably told about a UV filter and the benefits of it. UV filters cut down on the haze as well as acting as a protector for your lens. Have you heard about a circular polarizer yet!? Well, let’s just say that they can be almost magical!

A circular polarizing filter is one that should be in every landscape photographer’s bag. Why is this you may ask? The reason is quite simple. The effect created using a polarizer cannot be recreated in post processing. The effect must take place before the light ever hits the sensor, kind of like when wearing sunglasses, only for your camera. Once this is understood, we can begin to look into some of the key reasons you should be using a polarizer.

1.Polarizers increase contrast as well as refuse haze from your images. The polarizer filters out polarized light. Light from any source will scatter; however, a polarizer will minimize this scattered light to allow for greater contrast as well as cleaning up any haze present in the scene. The end result will have bluer skies and greener grass.


2. Polarizers remove unwanted reflections from non-metallic objects. The maximum benefit of this effect comes from the angle. When you frame the scene, try to make sure the sun is at a 90° axis from your lens. When this is done properly, you can avoid glare from windows, water, and glass. When you remove this glare you can take a photo of what is under the water or through the window.


3. Polarizers help to saturate foliage. They remove the waxy sheen that is present in nature. This can be avoided with a polarizer leaving you with a nicely saturated image with higher contrast than without the filter.


If you haven’t tried shooting with a polarizer, I would highly recommend trying it! You will see a dramatic difference in the contrast and saturation of your landscape images.

Stop by your local Creve Coeur Camera to check out our newest line of filters from Breakthrough Photography. Their polarizing filters are built to withstand extreme wind, salt water, dust and other abrasive conditions and elements. They incorporate Nano Coating Technology which bead water and other elements rather than absorbing and smearing. The filters come with a 25 year ironclad guarantee with a U.S. based phone, email, and live chat support.

Sarah Heepke

Photographic Consultant