I was on a meetup with a Flickr group that I belong to (West Suburban Chicago Flickrers) and I walked away from the site we were at (The Old Rusty Cadillac West of Rochelle Illinois) to get a environment/establishing shot. The day was bright and sunny, and we were there in the mid-afternoon. While, at this time of year, the sun was getting lower, it was still pretty high and blue, as you can see from this first shot.
This is exactly the kind of situation where I like to put the polarizer on my lens. The sun was almost perfectly placed, perpendicular to the line from me to the subject, and the resulting shot below shows the effect.
If you ever want to see how a polarizing filter can improve your shots, this should help.
Here’s a good overview of how polarizing filters work, along with some additional examples. But to summarize, a polarizing filter reduces the reflection and glare off of the surface of your subject. Fishermen wear polarizing sunglasses to reduce the glare from the water. And you can use it to reduce the glare coming from your subjects.
As you can see in the second picture, some of the colors are richer because of the reduction of the glare. And that sky went a much more deeper blue. The general contrast is improved as well. It’s not a great picture, but I thought it was a good example to share.
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