Polarizing Lens: An Essential Fall Photo Tool


Ah, fall… hot apple cider, crisp air, and a kaleidoscope of colors.

October is the prime time to head outside to photograph the changing leaves and some autumn-themed stock photos.

And there’s one tool that can really make those colors pop… a polarizing filter!

Adding a polarizer to the front of your lens cuts glare and adds a punch of color, just like putting on a pair of polarized sunglasses.

Check out these before and after shots:

The shots on the left were taken without a polarizing filter. Notice how the colors are washed out, getting lost in the glare?

Add a polarizer, and voila! Richer colors, with way less of that distracting shine.

The classic example is with bodies of water and skies… but polarizing filters also reduce shine on things like leaves and pine needles… giving you more color in nature, all-around.

Using a polarizing filter is easy. Here’s how it works…

  1. Get a polarizing filter that fits the front of your lens. If you’re not sure, do a Google search for “filter size, [YOUR LENS].
  2. Attach it to the front of your lens – usually it will simply screw onto the front.

    NOTE: If you have a UV filter on there, remove it, first. (I never use UV filters, as they can add glare and haze to your images.)

  3. Once attached, point your camera at something shiny and look through your camera’s viewfinder. While you’re doing this, use your free hand to slowly rotate the polarizer until you see the glare being reduced. Polarizers are built to spin, so you can easily twist it until it’s in the right spot.
  4. Take the shot! Note that the filter acts as sunglasses to your camera – reducing the amount of light that gets in. If you’re shooting in the shade or on a cloudy day, you may need a tripod to get a clear shot.

And that’s all there is to it! A polarizer works great on anything reflective. This includes leaves, rocks, water, docks, wet pavement, and even buildings.

Fall is the perfect time to give this tool a try. I hope you’ll have fun and share the results on the Snap & Sell Photo Club Facebook page.

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