How to Use a Polarizer for Landscape Photography

When I first took up landscape photography, I carried around a big, bulky pouch of filters that were constantly getting scratched, being dropped, or accidentally getting left behind. As digital technology and file quality has improved, the need for most of those filters faded away.

Using a polarizer helped reduce the glare on the wet rocks, moss, and surface of the water for this photo of a small waterfall in Iceland.
Even though cumbersome pouches of graduated neutral density filters are no longer necessary for many photographers, I still consider two filters essential for digital landscape photography: solid neutral density filters (a filter that allows a photographer to extend their shutter speed for creative effect, like the long exposure in the photo above) and polarizers.

I consider these two filters essential because it is impossible to recreate many of their effects in post-processing. For this article, we will focus on four ways that landscape photographers can best use polarizers in the field.

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