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Useful Photography Tip #1: Lose Unwanted Glare With a Polarizing Filter

by Sander-Martijn on 10/29/2011

Glare on table without polarizing filter

Glare on table without polarizing filter

Glare is caused by diffused reflection (as opposed to direct reflection). While there are techniques for eliminating this with proper lighting, sometimes that’s not possible. Other times the glare is on a secondary object such as a table when the primary object is already lit exactly as you want. An inexpensive addition to your kit which can solve this problem in seconds is a circular polarazing filter. A 52mm filter runs about $20 and larger ones aren’t much more. Just place one on the front of your lens and rotate it till the glare disappears, and in seconds you have a better photo.  Here are two photos, one without and one with a polarizing filter attached.

With polarizing filter

With polarizing filter

Other Uses for a Polarizing Filter

This is not the only time a polarizing filter can help your photos. It will also add color to washed out skies, reduce haze and other uses. When working in a studio keep in mind you will lose approximately one stop with this filter attached so adjust your metering accordingly. If you’re metering through the lens your camera will make that adjustment automatically.

To find out which thread your lens requires, look on it for an ø followed by a number – that’s the size filter you need. My Nikon 50mm f/1 says ø52 and my Tamron 28-75mm says ø67. Then get the right size circular polarizing filter for your lens.

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