The Second Best Accessory for Landscape Photos

If the first best accessory for improved landscape photos is a sturdy tripod, the second best is a polarizing filter, or polarizer. A polarizer eliminates glare and reflections. In turn, the colors in your image are richer, clouds pop out of the sky, and haze is diminished.

This dark filter is two pieces of glass combined. After you attach it to your lens, turning the outer portion of the filter creates the effect. This allows you to dial in how much polarizing effect you want. And you can see the results as you look through the viewfinder or at the Live View screen.

Without a polarizing filter

With a polarizing filter

In broad landscapes the polarizer is most effective when the sun is at right angles to the lens; in other words, when the sun is to your left or right relative to the camera. The filter has little or no effect when the sun is behind or directly in front of you (such as photographing a sunset).

You need a circular polarizer (not a linear one) to work with your camera's auto exposure feature. And to find out the right filter size for your lens, look at the number printed on the inside of the lens cap.

Using a polarizing filter for your landscape pictures can make a dramatic difference. Learn more helpful practices in my Better Landscape Photos class beginning Thursday, September 28, in Missoula, MT, at the Lifelong Learning Center. Click here to register.