Water Reflections and Polarisation

Water reflection maximised by polariser

A polariser can be used to cancel much of the reflection from a water surface. Here the polariser has been set horizontal to transmit light reflected from the water surface. Some of the light from below the water is blocked and allows the reflections to hide much of the subsurface detail.

Water reflection minimised by polariser

With the polariser turned to the vertical position the polarised reflection is mostly cancelled out. This allows the true colours of the bacterial mats to show through. Our eyes see both components so the view is somewhere between the two, depending on the strength of the background colours below the water.

Canon EOS 20D   27th June 2007
Yellowstone National Park

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