Fixing Polarized Skies Part 2

At the end of the previous post, I suggested an alternative was to select a lighter region of the sky and darken it. Here are the details.

The strongest effect of circular polarizer is at an angle of 90 degrees to the sun. But when shooting with a wide-angle lens the field of view encompasses an area beyond 90 degrees (and less). This can result in uneven exposure and saturation across a blue sky.

Uneven sky from polarizer

In this case I would like to use Lightroom local adjustment to fix the right side of the sky.

  • Click on the Mask Tool and use a Color Range mask. Selecting a lighter tone in the sky.
  • Intersect this with the Sky mask
  • Use the Refine slider to adjust the color range; create a smooth transitional area.
  • I intersected the mask with a Linear Gradient because the sun was lighting up the left-hand side and to remove the effect from the mountain.
  • Decrease the Highlights slider and increase the Saturation
  • Tweak Exposure, Highlights, Saturation and the color range Refinement.
Color Range mask intersected with Sky mask

Do not try to completely match the areas, rather aim to reduce the impact of the polarizer.

Now I turned on both adjustments, one to lighten the dark patch and the other to darken the right side. Spend a little time tweaking the amount of each adjustment. But not too much time, you are not aiming for perfection, just mitigation.

Finally, in the field one could adjust the polarizer to move or lessen the darkening and avoid all of this fussing about.