Dark Light

CPL Filter 49mm

Some of the light coming from the sky is polarized (bees use this phenomenon for navigation[2]). The electrons in the air molecules cause a scattering of sunlight in all directions. This explains why the sky is not dark during the day. But when looked at from the sides, the light emitted from a specific electron is totally polarized.[3] Hence, a picture taken in a direction at 90 degrees from the sun can take advantage of this polarization. Actually, the effect is visible in a band of 15° to 30° measured from the optimal direction.

Use of a polarizing filter, in the correct direction, will filter out the polarized component of skylight, darkening the sky; the landscape below it, and clouds, will be less affected, giving a photograph with a darker and more dramatic sky, and emphasizing the clouds.[4] Perpendicularly incident light waves tend to reduce clarity and saturation of certain colors, which increases haziness. The polarizing lens effectively absorbs these light waves, rendering outdoor scenes crisper with deeper color tones in subject matter such as blue skies, bodies of water and foliage.[5]

Much light is differentiated by polarization, e.g. light passing through crystals like sunstones (calcite) or water droplets producing rainbows. The polarization of the rainbow is caused by the internal reflection. The rays strike the back surface of the drop close to the Brewster angle.[6]

Polarizing filters can be rotated to maximise or minimise admission of polarised light. They are mounted in a rotating collar for this purpose; one need not screw or unscrew the filter to adjust the effect. Rotating the polarizing filter will make rainbows, reflections, and other polarized light stand out or nearly disappear depending on how much of the light is polarized and the angle of polarization.

The benefits of polarizing filters are the same in digital or film photography. While software post-processing can simulate many other types of filter, a photograph does not record the light polarization, so the effects of controlling polarization at the time of exposure cannot be replicated in software.

100 EGP