The magic of light

Have you had a chance to notice the header image?  If not, take a minute right now and look at it; I’ll wait.

I took those two photos just seconds apart, standing on the tide flats in Provincetown watching the tide come in around my ankles.  So why is one light and one dark?  A polarizing filter — the same thing they use in sunglasses to help cut down on glare when you’re driving.  The filter on my camera lens rotates to cut out light that’s scattering in one direction or another.  A quarter turn, more or less, is all that makes the difference between those two images.  You can see the same effect by tilting your head while wearing polarized sunglasses.

(Here’s a great explanation of how polarization works.  Go ahead, click that link — science doesn’t have to be scary.)

I can’t say that when I pressed the shutter release I knew exactly what the two photos would look like.  I knew I wanted to find out.  Sometimes the results are even better than you hoped…

And if not — well, there’s worse things in life than standing on the tide flats in Provincetown watching the tide roll in.


~ by Shelly F. Cohen on 12 August 2009.

One Response to “The magic of light”

  1. […] didn’t have my polarizing filter with me when I took this shot, but the jelly was so close to the surface you can actually make out […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: