Have you noticed how your polarising sunglasses cut out reflections and pleasantly deepen the colours of the sky or water on a sunny day?
The Circular Polarising Filter (CPL) does pretty much the same – it reduces the amount of reflected light and cuts out haze and harsh light before it reaches the sensor of your camera. It thus enhances the depth of the sky-colour, making clouds, if any, pop out beautifully. It removes reflections of the water, making the details in its depth clearer. This week’s Toecabulary discusses the different uses of the circular polarising filter, a very useful camera equipment that will enhance the creativity and aesthetics of your photography. So watch this space for more!
Circular polarising filters (CPL) allow your camera to leave out harsh reflections of light and create clearer, crisper images. This is especially useful if the scene you want to capture has glass or water-bodies that reflect sunlight. The reflective element is minimised or eliminated by the CPL to create dynamic, pleasant contrasts as shown in this image.
Circular polarising filters, upon cutting down reflections to reduce distraction, increase the contrasts and saturation of colours in a photograph. In this animation, you can see how using a CPL for a landscape photo has increased the contrasts and the saturation of the sky to a pleasant aesthetic appeal.
It is also noteworthy that if the scene involves any reflective surfaces, like a water-body or glass, the colours behind the surface will pop up. And when you are making images of people, CPL helps you cut down the sheen emanating from skintones and shiny clothes.
The next time you wish to make creatively different images, try using the circular polarising filter or the graduated neutral-density (GND) filter (which we have discussed in our Toecabulary post on Dynamic Range) and have fun varying contrast, saturation and dynamic range.
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