Polarizing Filters

Helping you see the light about when you don't want to!


Do your pictures seem to have a heavy blue tint? Do the pictures you’ve taken of the flowers in the Mérici de Métis Gardens seem a little dull or faded? Right away, you tell yourself you fiddled with the wrong whatchamacallit when adjusting your digital camera.

But take heart, the problem with your pictures has nothing to do with, your camera or your ability to adjust your lens. The fact is, all objects and surfaces reflect light and the colours of the objects and surfaces nearby. As a result, the bright, blue sky affected the colour of the flowers in the pictures you took at the Gardens.

So what can you do to solve the problem? It’s easy! This is where the polarizing filter comes into the picture!

How Does It Work?

Light shines on objects from many different angles. The shape and surface of the objects determines how light is reflected, which isn’t always obvious to the naked eye. For example, light reflecting off a window or water is polarized horizontally. This explains why, on a sunny day, you cannot see a person standing on the other side of a window or what is at the bottom of a pond.

Reflected light can be eliminated by turning your polarizing filter vertically.

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Wihtout polarizer

With polarizer

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Without polarizer

With polarizer

In sum, light is originally not polarized and is dispersed along a single plane when it is reflected off a surface. The polarizer works by blocking all light outside its angle of polarization

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Effects on light of bouncing off of a surface

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Advantages of using  a polarizer

Since a polarizer eliminates or reduces reflected light, the colours in your photographs will be vivid once more as soon as you cut the reflection from a blue sky.

Your flowers will seem to spring back to life, the green field will be truly green and the clown at the party will be smiling in his now brightly coloured costume. Even the sky in your pictures will become a deep, saturated blue.

You can also use the polarizer when it rains to increase contrast by reducing the light reflecting off wet surfaces. Your whites will be even whiter, and your blacks solid.

A polarizing filter will give you absolutely stunning pictures of the sky by making the clouds really stand out. The buildings in pictures you take in the city will be visible in finer detail.

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Without polarizer

With polarizer

Word of warning!

If your camera is a model with autofocus, you must use a circular polarizer.

A linear polarizer conflicts with the mirror that sends polarized light to the autofocus system.

However, a circular polarizer contains a second ¼-wave filter that corrects this problem.


Once you choose to start using a polarizer, the world around you will begin to change. You will be able to capture all the beauty of an autumn forest, the full effect of depth in a city skyline and the rich palette of colours of a garden in bloom.

Now you can reflect on the manner in which to create your new photographic works of art. Your pictures will be so good, they will filter out any criticism!

Happy picture taking!

Jacques Bourdages