Uses for circular polarizing filters

I get more confused looks from other photographers when discussing filters and the CPL. I’ll be honest it wasn’t until recently that I started really using them for my landscape shots. The clearest example of how they work is with water pictures. Its very similar to putting on polarized sunglasses. Simply put, it cuts glare. Extremely helpful during mid day shooting and less so when shooting into the sun or when the sun is at a low angle. Either way, an essential piece of glass for any landscape photographer. Operating them is simple enough, attach it to the lens and rotate it to get the effect you’re looking for.

On the left is without a circular polarizing filter, on the right is with one.

Another noticeable effect is when shooting a scene with a lot of leaves. Ive found that the light really reflects and makes you lose detail and it creates a distracting bunch of contrasty glare where you dont want it. The image below was shot mid day to illustrate the effectiveness of the CPL filter.

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There are a ton of manufacturers of filters out there. Looking on Amazon can be a dizzying task! Due to photography’s high level of subjectivity, reviews can be less than accurate. I can tell you that I’ve had good results with the GOBE brand. Pricing is around $50 per filter depending on which diameter you need for your lens. If you want the best of the best, Polar Pro is the Rolls Royce of imaging filters of any kind, but expect to pay a small fortune for one.

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