Week 41: Polarization in Color Efex Pro 4
A polarizing filter in photography is traditionally used to filter skylight with a certain direction of polarization. While there is a greater scientific dynamic at work, photographers employ the filter to reduce reflections on surfaces and to darken the sky. It also helps to increase contrast throughout the image, while saturating certain colors. It is a very useful filter that has applications to both black-and-white and color photography, and is typically used on images that contain skies, water, and foliage.
The Polarization filter within Color Efex Pro 4 is a great digital equivalent, as there are times when you may not be able to use the polarizing filter in the field. It effectively simulates the traditional glass polarizing filter, giving your image extra impact.
With a closer look at the filter controls, we can quickly familiarize ourselves with this filter.
Polarization filter control options
Moving the Rotate slider simulates the effect of rotating a filter on your lens, which produces different color contrasts within the image. Rotate is set to 105° by default and works from 0° to 180°.
The Strength slider controls the amount of the filtered effect that is applied to your original image. By default it is set to 20% and operates on a range of 0% to 200%. Moving the slider to the right will increase the effect, while moving to the left will decrease/remove the effect.
The Shadows protection slider is set to 0%; this is the default value assigned. Moving the slider to the right will lighten the shadows, while moving the slider to the left will effectively darken the shadow values.
The Highlights protect slider is set to 50% by default as well. Moving the slider to the left will lighten the highlight values, while moving the slider to the right will darken the highlights.
Tip: This is a great filter to use to create an emphasis on clouds within your landscape images. By adjusting the degree of the filter, you can darken the color of the sky, while defining the clouds.