reflected light

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Ben Taylor

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Jun 12, 2003
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Hi,

Please forgive me is this is a stupid question!

A few days ago, while sitting by the river during a tea break, I noticed something interesting that got me thinking. It had become quite an overcast day, with very little definition in the clouds, but some sunlight shining through.

I noticed however that the reflection of the sky on the river showed quite considerably more detail and interest in the clouds. I was wondering why this should be and how I might recreate the effect on film.

I'm guessing it is has something to do with the polarizing effect the water has on the reflected light, in which case would a polarizing filter have a smiler effect? Or maybe the water only reflects some of the light, and absorbs the rest, acting like a coloured filter?

Then again, I was nearing the end of a 12 hour shift, so I could have been seeing things!

Ben.
 

Ole

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Ben, I've noticed the same.
The answer seems to be yes, yes, maybe and yes:wink:

Yes, it has something to do with polarization.
Yes, a pola filter could have something of a similar effect.
Water is not a perfect reflector, and it may be colour-dependent?
Yes, you could have been seeing things!

Like rainbows, this it one of the things you have to pass up on if you insist on wearing sunglasses at all times...
 
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