What Is Polarized Light and How Does It Effect Photography?

When the vibrations effecting a wave of light are restricted to a single plane the light in question is referred to as being ‘polarized’. Light can become polarized when reflecting off a non-metallic surface or passing through certain mediums such as water. When taking photographs polarized light can often produce unwanted glare from reflective surfaces, prevent the observation of underwater objects within a scene, or cause skies to appear to overly bright. The issues associated with unwanted polarized light can be controlled by using a ‘polarizing filter’ which absorbs polarized light therefore reducing glare and reflections, and darkening bright skies within a photograph.