Polarize your sky
Enhance colour and boost contrast in drab skies
Whether or not you’re into meteorology, learning how to photograph clouds will improve your landscape photography no end. The majority of landscape photographs have sky in them, so why not use a filter to improve the tone, detail and contrast? Gone are the days of yellow and red filters on the ends of our lenses – used to darken blue skies on black-and-white film – as we can easily emulate these options in-camera. In terms of physical filters, however, the polarizer is one of only a few left in the digital age that cannot be reproduced in-camera or on a computer.
Polarizers work by filtering light reflected at certain angles, letting light pass through the lens in some directions while blocking others. This means when you’re shooting water, glass or up at the sky, turning the polarizer to its maximum strength will reduce glare. It also increases contrast and naturally boosts colours. But it isn’t as easy as popping it on and having a spin, so here we show you how to use your polarizing filter to its fullest.