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  #1  
Old 4th December 2014
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polarized Ice

It's start of December and we had sub 0°C temperatures for some time now, so that my workshop has already cooled down. Here the old single glassed windows reliably produce a plethora of ice flowers, something you don't see often anymore at my place.



The skeletal growth pattern and internal structures of these ice crystalls become more evidend in the light of crossed polarizers:



This brings back some 'Polmi' memories for me ...
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Old 4th December 2014
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Re: polarized Ice

Interesting, thanks Falk.

Here in southern England it has hardly been cold at all so far - it's been a bit chilly for a day or 2 now but nothing serious. If it didn't get dark so early it would be hard to believe it's already December!

Ciao ... John
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Old 4th December 2014
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Re: polarized Ice

Good observation Falk. The use of polarizers to bring out the detail was inspired.
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Old 4th December 2014
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Re: polarized Ice

Very nice Falk.

I recall some very cold winters in Germany in the 1980's, some beautiful scenery too.

Dave
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Old 4th December 2014
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Re: polarized Ice

Thanks guys, glad you found this interesting. Here is an other one of that series, with a bit more of window present:




Let me explain real quick what you'll need if you want to try this yourself:
First of you'll need two polarizers, not just one. Then you need a light source behind the first polarizer to 'make' polarized light - which then passes on through some crystalline* stuff (ice in this case). The light then goes through a second polarizer ('analysator') sitting on your lens. If you have the polarizers aligned (= internal structure parallel), not much will happen. But if you have them crossed, they should block all the incomming light, right!? This is true as long as there is no crystalline substance in between. Because a crystall lattice forces light to rotate* a certain amount, which also means it can again pass a second polarizer, subsequently showing some colour on your film/sensor.

I had my FL-36R on a tripod ouside, the first polarizer (pictured) sitting outside in the window, it's inside covered in ice - and me with the second polarizer on my lens, also inside of course. I was shooting directly into the flash in these pics.

* This won't work with minerals/crystalls belonging to the cubic cristallographic system, as they are all isotrop. So leave the Diamonds and Garnets to your wifes and also the table salt
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Old 5th December 2014
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Re: polarized Ice

And ..... Am I right in thinking that if the first filter (between the light source and the subject) is a circular polarizer, you have to have it the right way round? With the "camera" side facing the light source? Otherwise the light coming out of it will have been depolarized.

John
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Old 5th December 2014
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Re: polarized Ice

Good question John. I have no experience with circular polarizers as such, but I think you may be right and it would needed to be flipped around so that linear polarized light comes out of it. If you happen to have a TFT monitor, you could use the screen as a light source to test this out. Mine, at least, produces a nice polarized light and my linear polarizers block it to about 100%.
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Old 5th December 2014
Ulfric M Douglas Ulfric M Douglas is offline
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Re: polarized Ice

I shall try my one and only polariser next time there's a frost : there were some beauties on my car bonnet!
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Old 5th December 2014
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Re: polarized Ice

I wish I could convince some beauties to have a go on/at/with my car bonnet. Not that my car would be worth a penny as a backdrop, but I would accept that - and take hundreds of shots with or without polarizer
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