Tag Archives: Washington pass

Should You Use a Polarizer When High Up?

When listening to photographers discussing equipment and technique, I have heard several times that polarizing filters should not be used when you are high up.  As you get higher, the skies get clearer and deeper blue and the idea is that the polarizer becomes too much.  I was pondering this when we were up in the Washington Pass along the North Cascades Highway.  We aren’t very high at this point but still a decent elevation.  I thought about taking the polarizer off but I felt like it really improved the colors and vibrancy of the images.  Maybe we weren’t high enough for it to matter or maybe some of you will look at these shots and think it is too much.  I’m genuinely interested to hear what you think.

Washington Pass

Our trip over the Cascades took us through Washington Pass.  There was an overlook area with parking which allowed us to stop and wander around a bit.  The view of the pass was gorgeous.  There was snow on the peaks surrounding things and a hint of snow on the ground too.  The road drops down dramatically from the pass and comes down the valley below the overlook.  You were almost looking straight down on vehicles as they passed beneath.

There were plenty of places to walk.  The overlook area itself was not far from the parking lot but a short trail wandered up and around the rocks to give a wide variety of views.  The autumnal light was nice and low even though it was very sunny.  Being quite high up meant the sun was a bit stronger than normal.  The panoramic views meant standing and staring was the order of the day.  We ended up staying there for quite a while.  It will soon (if not already) be snowy up there.  As I write this, the road is already closed for the winter.  Hopefully we shall head back up that way when spring arrives.