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Aug 12 2009

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.

What'cha think?

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