Polarized light is light that has waves oscillating all in the same direction. There are two basic ways to get polarized light, from reflection or by using a filter. When light reflects off water or any other flat surface the light becomes polarized in one direction. It is common for fishermen to used polarized glasses to block the reflected polarized light (which causes glare) so they can see below the water better. The second and most common way to produce polarized light is with a polarizing filter. Polarizing filters were invented by Edwin H. Land in the 1930’s. Land developed an inexpensive process to align polarizing crystals and fix them into position with a binder. This polarizing filter became the standard for photographic and industrial processes.
Polarizing filters are great, they enhance skies, remove reflections and reduce glare from photos. On the other hand they are usually big and not something you’d haul around for a smartphone. Here is a quick little hack courtesy of the Koldunov Brothers that builds a small and portable polarizer filter for your smart phone.
Circular polarizing (CPL) filters are one of the most useful tools a landscape photographer can have in their toolkit, and in this video from landscape and nature photographer Joshua Cripps, you’re going to find out why.
Of course, they’re not limited to just landscapes, they can also help to cut through reflections and glare on glass and other reflective surfaces, so they can also be great for street, automotive and even portrait photography.
Breakthrough Photography has already had their, well, breakthrough, but they’re looking to push the boundaries even further.
On December 14th 2014 the San Francisco-based startup finished a very successful Kickstarter campaign for their then-new collection of neutral density and circular polarizer filters. Now, they’re improving their offerings with a new circular polarizer filter that they claim to be the ‘world’s sharpest and most color neutral.’ [Read more…]
Did you know that that when you use a polarizer in a wet forest, the color come out more vibrant because of the water’s effect through the lens?
Up until today, the only two things I knew about polarizers were that they make things go black when you put two together, and that they’re a feature in my American Optical Pilot Aviators (insanely affordable for their quality). Photographer Steve Perry, however, is so passionate about the polarizer that he made a ten minute long video tutorial over it. And don’t let that throw you off; this video doesn’t waste time. He spends ten straight minutes teaching you about polarizers, and it’s one of the most informative little pieces I’ve seen for a while now.