Reduced Shadows


Questions & Answers

  1. When should I not use this polarizing filter Photoshop effect?
  2. When should I use this polarizing filter Photoshop effect?
  3. Why is my photo so grainy?
  4. What are some methods to reduce noise?

When should I not use this polarizing filter Photoshop effect effect?

There are a few photo situations that may not produce desirable results. These includes:

  • grainy photos (usually photos taken with a high ISO speed)
  • photos with large amounts of reds
  • photos with high contrast and low detail

When should I use this polarizing filter Photoshop effect?

Although taking a photo with a real polarizing filter will produce better results, this Photoshop effect is ideal for photos taken with:

  • cameras that do not support filter attachments (ex. compact digital cameras)
  • lens that do not support filter attachments (ex. wide angle & fisheye lens)

Why is my photo so grainy?

We recommend using this Photoshop effect on photos taken with a low ISO. When applying this effect, the noise from the red channel gets copied over to the lightness channel. Because most digital cameras produce more noise in the red channel than the green or blue channels, this effect can only produce satisfactory results for images taken with a low ISO.

What are some methods to reduce noise?

If you are working with an grainy photo, we recommend reducing the noise prior to applying the Polarizing Filter Photoshop effect. We recommend using 3rd party noise reducing programs such as Neat Image and Noise Ninja. If those options are not available to you, we recommend:

  • for Photoshop CS2users: the Reduce Noise filter (Filter> Noise> Reduce Noise)
  • for Photoshop CS or lowerusers: the Despeckle filter (Filter> Noise> Despeckle)

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Felicia Gaddis

Thanks. This was really helpful!

Michael F Dougherty

As I now have to upgrade my photo processing software on some of my older computers, I’m surprised to find that on the latest versions of Photoshop, you have to go through a 13 step process. With older versions of PS, there were plugin filters that would apply a polarizing effect with the press of a button. If you want to vary the amount of polarization, just make a duplicate copy of the layer and use the opacity slider. Done in 2 steps.

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