Photography Basics: Polarization Filters

The use: A polarising filter (or polarization filter) is used to remove reflections from a shiny surface and make blue skies darker.
Types: Linear and circular polarizer. Circular is recommended.
Manufacturers: Hoya, B&W and Cokin, using different depths of filter mount.
Recommendations: not to use with wide-angle lenses and UV Filters.
Polarization FilterA polarization filter only allows light to enter the lens in a specific direction whilst absorbing other light. If used for its traditional role of removing reflections, by polarising the light reflected from the surface it permits the actual subject to be viewed without reflections. When removing reflections the optimum polarisation effect will be achieved with the camera at a 30o ~40o angle to the subject. By rotating the polarising filter different parts of the subject can often be polarised changing the overall effect. The part of the world you are photographing will also make a big difference to the effect as the suns angle varies.

Polarization Filters Tips:
1. If shooting the sky near the horizon the polarisation effect will be less than if shooting the sky immediately above you.
2. Polarising filters can be used to increase the colour saturation of vividly coloured subjects.
3. Common situations when the use of polarizer is needed are the shoots of glass buildings and water surfaces.
4. By using a polarising filter, if the angles are right it is possible to cut though the landscapes haze.

By Laura

I started photography as a hobby in 2005, during college. My passion slowly became a more important part of my life since 2008. Because of using a combination of my photographic knowledge, with those of internet marketing, I like to call myself a "photomarketer".

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