A Polarizer filter is generally the first filter a landscape photographer buys. It is so versatile. It can darken blue skies, reduce harsh reflections and intensify colors. Many photographers put polarizers on their lenses and never take them off.
But this is a Lightroom tutorial. So why in the world am I talking about polarizer filters? Well, it’s because I have a trick I’d like to share with you, one that I’ve never seen discussed anywhere else. It’s what you can do in Lightroom to create the polarizer effect without a polarizer. In fact, it can be better than the real thing, especially if you are shooting with a wide angle lens. Because, the angle of view can be so great that part of the sky will be affected by the polarizer and the rest will not. So it looks pretty unnatural when the sky in part of your image is dark and the rest is washed out.
So, what’s the trick? Well, consider this image taken on a recent trip to Hawaii. I shot it with my Canon G11 and I don’t even own a polarizer filter for it. It’s a photograph of the ongoing eruption in a crater in the Kilauea caldera. In the bottom of the crater is a lake of lava. The smoke you see is a plume of noxious gas.
(Click on the image for a larger view)
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The 2012 Joshua Tree Fine Art Festival is coming up next weekend. The dates are Friday, April 6 to Sunday, April 8. I’m excited to be returning and catching up with old friends. This is the first art festival I ever did and so returning is like a homecoming. The festival is at the Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms, CA. The hours are 9:00 to 5:00. Come on out and see some great art.
I’ll be showing some old favorites along with some new photographs I’m very excited about. As far as the old favorites go I’m planning on showing Virgin River and the Watchman from Zion National Park.
This has proved to be my most popular photograph and has won awards. It was captured on Thanksgiving day back in 2008. I was in Zion with my wife and daughter for the Thanksgiving weekend. I slipped out for this sunset and caught a beauty. Beginners luck! I’ve returned many times but never with light this good. (By the way, to get a better view of the photographs you can enlarge them by clicking on them.)
To go along with the Watchman is another photograph taken that same weekend along the Riverside Walk to the Gateway to the Narrows. When my family is with me we always do this walk. It’s our favorite – for obvious reasons.
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