Do you use a Circular Polarizer in your landscape photography?  For years I did not, and I look back on all kinds of missed opportunities and shots that could have been so much better had I been using one.  They are not that difficult to use and can be pricey, but their benefits far outweigh the cost.

What are the benefits of a circular polarizer?

► They can help cut glare and reflections on water and foliage, making water nearly see-through and foliage a vibrant green.
► They can make blue skies much bluer, making white clouds stand out more.
► They can cut the glare off windshields and various types of glass, perfect for product and car photography.
► They can help cut through atmospheric haze for objects far in the distance in vast landscape shots.

Circular Polarizer Before (No CPL) Circular Polarizer After (With CPL)

See, there are a ton of benefits, but you don’t understand just how powerful they are until you use them in the field.  There is nothing like spinning that glass on the front of the lens, and watching glares disappear.

I have recently got my hands on a new type of Circular Polarizer (CPL) made by Breakthrough Photography. These are Dark CPL’s which combine Neutral Density filtration with Circular Polarization. The result is either a 3 or 6 stop ND CPL. 

If you have ever tried to use both a CPL and an ND filter at the same time, you will know how awesome this is!  Anytime you can use one piece of glass over multiple, you jump at the opportunity as it reduces the possibility of light bouncing around between them.

I generally purchase one CPL that is the size of my largest lens and then I use step-up rings on my lenses that will allow me to adapt my larger filter to their thread.  So my 72 and 77 mm lenses can use an 82mm filter.  I usually just keep these rings on the lens and then also grab a bunch of 82mm Lens caps. That way, I don’t need to go looking for my step-up rings when I want to use my filters.

In today’s video, I will show you how these Dark Circular Polarizers from Breakthrough Photography saved the day in a waterfall shoot in broad daylight. Enjoy!

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Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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