CPL Filter: A Guide

CPL Filter: Bye Bye Glares!

CPL filters or a circular polarizing linear filter is a very unique piece of glass you never knew you really needed. Once again today we focus on filters, a very important piece of equipment that every photographer should have in their arsenal but for some reason don’t keep. 

While it is true that most beginner photographers simply prefer to keep things simple for themselves in regards to camera equipment. But those that want to move their skills to the next level should consider it. Filters have the power to change the dynamic of the whole shot, from something average to the complete extraordinary

What is a CPL filter?

A CPL filter is known for adding a level of depth and clarity to your photographs. It does so by removing any supposed ‘obstacles’ in the air between you and your subject. This obstacle can be light, color and reflections. With this, you have much more control over what you actually capture in your final image. Polarized light is simply light that has been reflected off of anything, these can cause interference in photography. The CPL filter can keep this light aside. So you get on the light you want in your shot. 

By scientific rules, maximum polarization occurs at 90 degrees from the light source, this means when the sun is above your head you will get the best polarization results. You can also adjust your camera to an angle that is 90 degrees from the sun as well when it’s not directly above you. Place your index finger and thumb in an L shape. Point your thumb towards the sun. The angle your index finger points to is the best at that time for the filter to work. 

Enhancing Sky Color 

If you have ever taken photos of landscapes or even cityscapes you will have definitely noticed how the sky looks much more dull in the photo than you see it with your naked eye. It’s disappointing to see you are unable to match the colors. With a CPL filter however, you can enhance the color of the sky and give more depth to the image. At certain angles, the CPL filter is really able to minimize the polarization caused by sunlight. 

Cutting down Reflections

If you take portraits often and prefer to set up creative settings, you will have noticed how difficult it is to take pictures through the glass of a window. The CPL filter helps with just that, along with any reflections in the water. That means next time you take a picture of a body of water, such as a lake or a pool. You will be able to see the bottom with much more clarity in the picture than you can in real life. The CPL filter removes all those light streaks that come off in the reflection