Tips on Using Circular Polarizing Filters

Photofocus (old site)

One of the major challenges in landscape photography is managing reflected light, especially when working around water.  The single best way to subdue reflection is to use a circular polarizing filter to control the amount of scattered light across the lens in full sun.

Polarizing filters are ideal for contrasting clouds against a hazy blue sky, and removing unwanted glare across water and glass.  I like to think of it as sunglasses for my lens.  While many filters can be successfully emulated via software, horizontally polarized light can only be contained at the lens level and is not repairable in post.  Click the image below for a more detailed understanding as to how linear and circular polarizing filters specifically work in photography.

Circular.Polarization.Circularly.Polarized.Light Circular.Polarizer Creating.Left.Handed.Helix.View.svg

Circular polarizers are designed to rotate and adjust freely without decoupling to quickly find the best angle to block any unwanted rays.  In the image on the left, the filter…

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