How-To: Landscapes

How to spin a pricey filter into pure gold.

A typical polarizing filter reduces reflections and glare on windows, water, and other reflective surfaces. A polarizer also enhances the color of the sky and clouds. For nature photographers, this is a boon for shooting midday foliage, waterfalls, and streams.

But filter maker Singh-Ray goes the typical polarizing filter one better with its Gold-N-Blue Polarizer. This piece of high-end glass-priced from $190 to $220, based on size (direct, www.singh-ray.com)--renders those reflections as gold, or blue, or any combination of the two.

The result: images with a new dramatic dimension and much more color. Besides reflections, the Gold-N-Blue works great for landscapes, on vegetation-just about anywhere a conventional polarizer can be used. It's no surprise this filter has become one of the nature shooter's best friends.

Here are three more things you should know about this very special polarizer:

You can sleep late. Even in harsh midday light, the Gold-N-Blue can provide an effect that's very close to the warm light of morning or the golden glow of the setting sun.

There'll be a learning curve. Predicting what this filter will do to the scene takes practice. Just look at the two very different pictures I took of the same scene. To get a sense of the effect, hold the Gold-N-Blue up to your eye and rotate it. You'll see the impact.

You need to choose a mount. The filter comes in a traditional screw mount. The bulkier-though in many ways more elegant-approach (since it makes it easy to add or subtract the filter) is a sprocketed mounting ring that slips into a common Cokin P-type filter holder.

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