Photography hack: Use your sunglasses as an irl filter

Last Christmas I asked for a pair of aviators. Cheap ones, just so I could see if I liked them enough.  I’ve never been a sunglasses person, but I’ve always found aviators appealing since my Fallout: New Vegas days. I can’t really explain exactly why I like them, except they’re big and classical looking1. I wasn’t sure about them at first on the drive to the family Christmas party. Everything just seemed too dark.

But a few days later when I was walking to work I realised something: “Everything looks great!” The sea was a deep dark blue. The morning sky changes to a silvery blanket as I walk to work. The leaves were greener and didn’t look like they were suffering through a summer drought. It was like God had opened the Photoshop for the world and amped up the contrast. Everything looked great to take pictures with, so I took them off to get a better view of everything through my phone…

Then I realised just how washed out everything looks. The oppressive Summer sun beating down, bright as hell, blinding and making all my photos look over exposed. I pondered for a little while how I could get this fixed. Snapseed and an Instagram filter I suppose. And then it hit me. If everything looks better through your sunglasses, why not put my camera through the sunglasses. It turns out glorious. This is a comparison I did between the two. On the left, the unpolarised version. On the right, the better, polarised version.

There is cleaner look to the polarised version, it is not so saturated and washed out producing an overall nicer photograph. Of course, these are all things you could technically edit out with Snapseed and Instagram but that would take a lot of effort when you could just use the sunglasses that are probably sitting on your head already.


  1. Plus being able to shout “I AM THE AUTHORITAH!” when friends see me in them is great. 

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