From what I have read so far (this question in particular), CPL filters are good for darkening skys and improving image contrast by cutting down unwanted reflections. Apart from this, for some different effects, some sites have also talked about cross polarization effects, and the uneven effect on wide angle lenses.

I got my first CPL filter and was playing around with it, and found that it can cut off back light on my laptop screen almost completely. I was wondering if there are any other special effects that can obtained through the use of CPL filters, i.e., anything outside of the expected lines that you have found during their use.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Also posted this on quora - quora.com/Photography/… \$\endgroup\$
    – ab.aditya
    Jul 4, 2012 at 15:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question is probably not a good fit for our forum, as it is really asking for a list of possibilities. If an answer shows up that offers all of the possible uses for polarizing filters in a single answer, I'll let it stand, but if we get a bunch of answers each offering one possible use, I think this question will need to be closed. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Jul 5, 2012 at 3:44

1 Answer 1


The main other "effect" that comes to mind is that if you polarize an artificial light source such as a speedlight 90 degrees opposite the angle of polarizing on your lens, you can dramatically cut the reflection produced by the flash. Think of how this might affect throwing a bit of flash into a shallow stream or tide pool. However, you have to be dead certain you know the angles of the polarizing material on both the lens and the light for this to have best effect.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any sample images where this technique has been used? \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Jul 3, 2012 at 10:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nothing in my own body of work, however George Lepp (www.georgelepp.com) was a big proponent of this for shallow water image making, as I recall. \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve Ross
    Jul 4, 2012 at 5:35

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