When photographing water, it can oftentimes be a good idea to tame the reflections with a circular polarizer filter. A circular polarizer is a filter that rotates on the front of your lens, allowing you to cut through reflections in water and glass. These examples show how different rotations of the filter can have varying effects on a scene.
For this sunrise photograph of Trillium Lake, I wasn’t quite sure which version I would like better: the one with the full reflection showing in the water (left), or the one with a little bit of the lake peeking through (right). (Click on the photo to view larger.) In this case, I could probably go either way. I ended up selecting the image on the right to do a full process with, as you can see in the feature image of this post, as I did like the little bit of lake peeking through.
Polarizers don’t just affect water, but they can also affect anything with glare or shine. In this case, the rocks were wet and changing the rotation of the polarizer either kept or removed that glare.
I photographed this scene as a classic example of how a circular polarizer can affect reflections in water. In the image on the left, the reflection almost completely blocks out the sand and rocks under the surface of the water, but in the image on the right, you can see through to the bottom of the little puddle. Watch the video below to see this effect change the scene as I rotate the filter on the front of my lens:
Quick Tip: Use live-view on your camera’s LCD while rotating the circular polarizer to see the filter alter your scene right in front of your eyes.
This Post Sponsored by:
LensRentals.com Be a kid in a camera store. Rent lenses, cameras, lighting and more from the original and best online photographic and video equipment rental company. Use PHOTOFOCUS15 in the checkout special instructions to receive 15% off any May rental.
Mosaic A complete solution for photographers using Lightroom who want to manage and share their photos. You can easily view images with their iOS app or web service. Plus your photos are backed up to the cloud with several plans to match your needs. Be sure to also check out the Lightroom Learning Center to learn new ways to work in Lightroom.
Photoshop World, the ultimate Photoshop, Photography & Lighting Conference. Las Vegas, NV, September 3-5. Use the promo code PSWFOCUS414 to discount $50 OFF a full conference pass. Learn more in three days than you have in three years!