Fall Color Polarizer lesson


A quick lesson on using polarizer filters from my Fall Color shoot on October 13, 2013.

I love the polarizer.  One is on my primary DSLR by default.  I use them all the time.

However, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  If you over-polarize, your images can be ruined.  Here are examples of exactly what I’m talking about.


OCT 13 2013   023aThis image is shot with the polarizer, but at a lesser intensity.




OCT 13 2013   024aThe same shot, but this time I polarized the living snot out of it.  The sky looks just terrible.  Not only is it too dark (especially in the bottom half), it is also uneven.  Just a brutal image, but a wonderful example of over-polarization.


Lets look at them again, side-by-side:

OCT 13 2013   023aOCT 13 2013   024a


Although the image on the right was done on purpose, it’s easy to get tricked when out in the field.  Through the lens, your image may look really cool; especially when that tree foliage pops!  However, when you get back home, disappointment will indeed set in.  Worse yet, chances are the image will not be salvageable, even if you shot in RAW.

You may want an effect such as what you see on the right.  Go ahead and knock yourself out, but follow this advice:

Take multiple images.  Try some with the polarizer in various intensities, and some without it at all.  That way if you over-polarize, you will have back-up images you can use.


So, use your polarizer!  They rock!  However, be careful…      


all images © Scott Woelm – October 2013