Food Photography Glare? 5 Reasons for Polarizing Filter

My headache nr 1: Food photography glare.

My headache nr 2: Food photography reflection.

Here’s the deal: I discovered a solution! No, it’s not Lightroom! Although, it might help …

Reflection & Iced turmeric Latte by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Turmeric Latte

KEEP SCROLLING: TYPICAL INTERNET DISCLAIMER

Before I go on, I need to make a little disclaimer. These are just my thoughts and  I don’t know everything. I’m still learning & just sharing some things I have discovered over the years. Some of you who are reading this might think otherwise and have different opinions. However, I believe that a different point of view is just part of photography.

Wait? What? Are you shooting landscape?!

I have used a circular polarizing filter for many years. However, it has mostly been for my travels or landscape photography. It’s one of the things that’s always in my camera bag.

Yet, somehow I started to use that filter for food photography only recently. 😅 I missed out. I was struggling with that food photography glare for years until I stumbled on this article.

General reasons to use the polarizing filter?
#1 General reasons: Exposure & “fancy” sunglasses 😎

This kind of filter looks like sunglass and is darker than the usual lens. It will change my exposure, but longer exposure is not a problem when I use the tripod (read my post about tripod here). I will get better quality.

Usually, photographers use this filter when they are shooting outside in the middle of the day. It’s a great tool when the light is quite harsh because of the sun. I also noticed the effect of the polarizing filter when I was traveling in the Australian outback. It saved some of my images. For sure!

Working with polarizing filter & shiny tableware? Chocolate Quinoa Porridge by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

#2 General reasons: Glare Headache

When I’m shooting water or other shiny objects, then the polarizing filter is my best friend. I can cut out the glare by merely rotating my circular polarizing filter. It makes my life so much more comfortable, and I can save a lot of time with editing.

Glare & reflection in food photography. Shiny glass and ice cream reflection example by Healthy Laura food photography & styling. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

My little mistakes (read the post here)

#3 General reasons: Reflections Headache

Glass or other shiny objects might give the reflection that I don’t need. The fantastic part about the polarizing filter is that in some cases I can get rid of the reflection.

Colors, filter & turmeric bread by Healthy Laura Food Photography & Styling. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

#4 General reasons: Vibrant Colors

Have you ever noticed that good sunglasses make the colors better? With the polarizing filter, it’s quite similar.

The polarizing filter might help with more vibrant colors as well. I will get that nice contrast that I might need for my images. If you don’t notice the difference, then look at the sky. When you rotate your circular filter, then you can see the difference.

Filter & Matcha latte by Healthy Laura food photography & styling. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Matcha Latte

#5 General reasons: Protection

We all know that lenses are expensive. No questions asked. When I can protect my 600 -900 euro lens with 50-90 euros filter, then it’s worth it.

Circular polarizing filter & Ice cream with sesame seeds by Healthy Laura food photography & styling. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Nice Cream

Circular polarizing filter for FOOD photography (FP)?

Does it apply all this to my food photography? Let’s compare the general photography with food photography?

#1 FP reasons: Exposure & “fancy” sunglasses 😎

In most cases, I always like to use a longer exposure to get better quality. However, since I don’t shoot in straight sunlight, then this isn’t the most obvious argument for me.

Glare & Turmeric latte by Healthy Laura food photography. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Iced turmeric latte

#2 FP reasons: Glare Headache

That’s the main reason I sometimes like to use the polarizing filter. Quite often the glass, cutlery or other tableware gives that glare, that drives me crazy. So, the polarizing filter is my best friend for that food photography glare. I can cut out the glare by merely rotating the circular polarizing filter. It makes my life more comfortable, and I can save my editing time.

Reflection, glare & pesto by Healthy Laura food photography. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

When I’m rotating the circular polarizing filter, then I can reduce the glare and reflection. Read my post about my little mistakes here

#3 FP reasons: Reflections Madness

Glass or other shiny objects might give the reflection that I don’t need. What’s fantastic about the polarizing filter? In some cases, I can get rid of the reflection that seems impossible.

Filter & fish by Healthy Laura food photography. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Fish with sweet potato and rocket pesto

#4 FP reasons: Vibrant Colors

Again, since I don’t shoot in straight sunlight, then the polarizing doesn’t make a huge difference with colors. However, it always depends on what kind of food I’m shooting or what are the light conditions.

Shiny tableware, filter on a white fish with sweet potato and lime example by Healthy Laura food photography. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

When I’m rotating the circular polarizing filter, then I can reduce the glare.

#5 FP reasons: Protection? Yes, my food photography is “dangerous”

Compare to climbing on the rocks, then food photography is a little bit safer for your gear. Obviously, we can’t compare food photography with some action sport but still! Maybe it is?! 😅 

Food photography glare & reflection by Healthy Laura. My food photography HACKS & ideas with circular polarizing filter. #foodphotographyglare #foodbloggertips #foodblogideas #foodphotographyreflection

Save it?

It might be when you are like me, and you like to climb on the tables. If I can protect my lens from dust and my crazy decisions, then I can’t complain.

For my food photography, I use circular Hoya 58 mm filter for my Nikkor 50 mm F/1.8 lens (If you are planning to buy one, then make sure that the filter match with your lens diameter because there are a large variety of sizes).

Nice cream jar & working with shiny object by Healthy Laura food photography. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Recap
  • The polarizing filter is not only for landscape photography.
  • Fix food photography glare or reflections issues with circular polarizing filter & save time on editing.

Also, big thanks for Feedspot for adding me for top 50 food photography blogs. I’m quite surprised since I haven’t done many posts about photography. 

Glare & reflection on a glass in food photography by Healthy Laura. Pouring red juice in a glass. My food blogging and food blog food photography polarizing filter to get rid of the galre on tableware and work with shiny tableware. #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodblog #foodblogging #foodblogtips

Save it? 🙂

Classical Comment Begging 123 🙄

If this post was helpful, then please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @healthylauracom or another platform. 

It helps me to create better content & I know you would like to read more about this topic.

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Updated: 29.10.2018

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Comments

  1. I saw the making of this post on IG Stories and couldn’t wait for it to be posted! I’ve been thinking about trying out polarizing filters a long time and I did get one for my kitlens, but mostly using my 50mm right now, it (of course) doesn’t fit… Was still wondering if I should spend some money on it, but I definitely should, the results are amazing Laura!

    • Wow, so happy to hear that! I know that feeling! I also thought that should I really spend the money but finally, I decided to do that. I was more than pleased that I spend that money. Totally worth that! 🙂

  2. I’ve never thought to use my polarising filter for food photography but you make some great points! The glare of glass or metal gets me sometimes, so definitely trying this out!