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A strange polarised enlightenment


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#1 Vagabond

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 05:42 AM

I think everyone "knows" that  a pair of polarizing spectacles will aid in spotting fish in the water. Certainly hack angling writers have written enough articles about the subject.

 

 I have always taken that received wisdom with a pinch of salt.   Why ?   ......  because I personally, during a long fishing life, have always picked up fish in the water pretty well, and on the odd occasion when a companion has suggested I try his Polaroids, have found they made little or no difference.     So, I rarely spoke about this, as everyone else told me I was wrong -  I knew I was right, but kept my own counsel.

 

Now, had I snuffed it in my seventies, The secret would have died with me.   But here I am, having lived long enough to develop cataracts in both eyes.   Last November I had the cataract (the more serious of the two ) in my right eye removed and a plastic lens substituted,   I am still waiting for the other eye to be fixed.

 

So far, so good.     One of the first things I noticed was the brilliance of the colours seen through my new lens - especially at the blue end of the spectrum. Looking at hazy blue sky and closing my right eye , the cataract-affected left eye is telling me the sky is a wish-washy dull yellowish drab.      Shut the left  eye and observe the sky with my "new" plastic-lensed right eye, and lo and behold the sky is definitely blue.   I could hardly get over this novelty, and now observe most things by closing one eye or the other and observing the changes in colour and intensity.       OK, easily explained by the cloudiness (and possible pigmentation) of the cataracts.and no great discovery.

 

Now the spooky bit.    The sun was shining the other morning, and we had half-opened a window, so the sun was caching it at an angle, causing a glint - something I had barely noticed before. Shut one eye, then open it and shut the other - yes, big difference,  I could see the garden clearly through the angled glass with my left eye (and developing cataract) but with my right eye and its fancy lens, all I could see was a reflection of the early morning sun. A visit to a body of water confirmed the same holds good for a water surface.

 

So, what is the explanation ?    Bearing in mind polarization is a uni-directional thing - like the slats in a Venetian blind   ie two polarizing filters one behind the other can be rotated with respect to each other so as to bring the "mini-slats"  at mutual right angles and extinguish all light - Geologists of my generation used a polarising microscope with a rotating polar filter to identify rock minerals - some of which show polarity and some not. So postulating that I carry a polarising gene is a bit far fetched.   Perhaps because I spent so  much time stalking trout in my youth the cause is nurture rather than nature.    Either way, once my second cataract is removed and a plastic lens substituted, then my ability to spot fish in the water will be diminished.    I will have to join the rest of the human race and buy a pair of polarising specs !

 

Comments from anyone familiar with the biophysics of polarised light would be useful

 

 

NB   My spell checker objected to "polarising" with an "s", - insisting on the American "z" -  until I got fed up and ignored it.

 

 

 

 




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World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .
Certhia's world species - 215
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#2 Ken L

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 12:10 PM

I find that sometimes they help and sometimes they don't. The angle of the sun, overall brightness and depth of the water all being factors.

I don't even pretend to wrap my head around it because things like Bell's Theorem make my head hurt.

I have had glass lenses in the past and while they perform better, they are very prone to misting up, especially on cool days so I now use polycarbonate and because I'm somewhat paranoid about eye protection, I wear glasses all the time if I'm fly fishing or walking the banks - the polaroids get swapped out for amber tints if it's dark.

Having tried all sorts of clever coatings and lens colours, I would suggest you stick to either amber or grey.

The absolute worst of the worst was green mirrored lenses because while they do give the world a nice relaxing hue, they reflect away green light and it you're walking around under trees on a river bank, the only light getting through the canopy is green - so you can't see where you're putting your feet.


Species caught in 2019: Pike. Bream. Tench. Chub. Common Carp. European Eel. Barbel. Bleak. Dace.
Species caught in 2018: Perch. Bream. Rainbow Trout. Brown Trout. Chub. Roach. Carp. European Eel.
Species caught in 2017: Siamese carp. Striped catfish. Rohu. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima.  Black Minnow Shark. Perch. Chub. Brown Trout. Pike. Bream. Roach. Rudd. Bleak. Common Carp.
Species caught in 2016: Siamese carp. Jullien's golden carp. Striped catfish. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Alligator gar. Rohu. Black Minnow Shark. Roach, Bream, Perch, Ballan Wrasse. Rudd. Common Carp. Pike. Zander. Chub. Bleak.
Species caught in 2015: Brown Trout. Roach. Bream. Terrapin. Eel. Barbel. Pike. Chub. 
Species caught in 2014: Striped catfish. Pacu. Giant gourami. Clown knife fish. Rohu. Siamese carp. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Roach. Bream. Perch. Rainbow trout. Chub. Common Carp, Ide. Brown Trout. Barbel. Mekong catfish. Jullien's golden carp. Alligator gar. Java barb.
Species caught in 2013: Mangrove Jack. Barramundi. Blubberlip snapper. Baracouda. Malabar grouper. Yellowfin Trevally. Chub. Brown Trout. Perch. Roach. Pike. European Eel. Bleak.
Species caught in 2012: Northern whiting. Moray eel. Barramundi. Snakehead murrel. Silver razorbelly minnow. Deccan Mahseer. Malabar mystus. Deccan rita. Spotted Malabar Grouper. Mangrove Jack. Indian sea catfish. Brown Trout. Chub. Perch. Roach. Rudd.
Species caught in 2011: Indian sea catfish. Sardine. Barramundi. Mangrove Jack. Deccan Mahseer. Record Humpbacked Mahseer. Yellow Fin Trevelly. Giant Trevelly. Chub. Brown Trout. Perch. Pike. Atlantic salmon. Dace. Minnow. Roach. Gudgeon. 
Species caught in 2010: Barramundi. Giant Trevelly. Moray eel. Indian sea catfish. Mangrove Jack. Deccan Mahseer. Humpback Mahseer. Chub. Brown Trout. Perch. Bass. Pike. 
Species caught in 2009: Chub. Perch. Pike. Pacu. Thai Striped Catfish. 
Species caught in 2008: Barramundi. p-i-k-e-y sea bream. Indian sea catfish. Guitarfish. Mangrove Jack. Mahseer. Squid (Not strictly a fish but it took a lure !). Emperor Sweetlip. Black Spot Snapper. Moray eel. Spangled Emperor. Bluecheek silver grunt. Yellow striped emperor. Vanikoro sweeper. Pike. Perch. Brown trout. Chub. Atlantic salmon.

#3 Phone

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 05:49 PM

Vagabond,

 

Couple comments. First, your spellchecker is correct.

 

Second, I too have often thought of polarization for fishing as pseudo-science.

 

Third, The nature of such electromagnetic waves is beyond the scope of understanding for angling.

 

""It's possible to transform unpolarized light into polarized light. Polarized light waves are light waves in which the vibrations occur in a single plane.

The most common method of polarization involves the use of a Polaroid filter. Polaroid filters are made of a special material that is capable of blocking one of the two planes of vibration of an electromagnetic wave.""

 

I have now completely lost interest.  I don't have cataracts.

 

Phone



#4 chesters1

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 05:55 PM

I must admit i haven't seen any difference sertainly nothing like what you are supposed to see in the adverts ,i always put it down to my cheapness 'polorised' rather than 'polaroid' ,at one time you got a small cardboard frame with a bit of polorised plastic sheet in it to prove the glasses were polorised ,it made no difference i still didnt see anything in real life

Believe NOTHING anyones says or writes unless you witness  it yourself and even then your eyes can deceive you

 

There is only one opinion i listen to ,its mine and its ALWAYS right even when its wrong

 

Its far easier to curse the darkness than light one candle

 

Mathew 4:19

 

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson


#5 Vagabond

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 07:39 PM

I must admit i haven't seen any difference

So there are two of us at least !   Must be those Neanderthal genes....

 

Same with blood samples, I remember you saying that like me, no medic was any good at taking blood samples from you..   I have found one capable blood sampler, who I insist on having each time.  I notice she is going grey, so when she retires, its back to being a human pincushion again.




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World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .
Certhia's world species - 215
Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato
...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...


#6 philocalist

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 08:05 PM

I'll be honest, I wear polarising lenses a lot, and they DO work for me, most of the time. Thing is, for them to work effectively, the light needs to be coming in the correct direction, relative to the direction in which you are facing, AND the angle of the light hitting the water. The orientation of the lens within the frame of your glasses also has a profound effect.

Under the right conditions, you will lose virtually 100% of surface glare.

 

I'll confess, a lifetime as a pro photographer gave me perhaps a better understanding of light than most, including what polarisation can, and cannot do. Totally unrelated, but I wonder how many realise that a normal polarising filter, so effective on the old film cameras (and our eyes) is useless on a digital camera   ...   which needs a circular polariser rather than a linear one (just to muddy the waters a bit :-) )

 

What perhaps also gives me an edge (when fish spotting) is the actual glasses I use - quite old and hopelessly outdated now frame-wise, with circular lenses, BUT the lens can be individually rotated within each lens using a small knob at the edge of meach lens, to gain maximum polarising effect - and the difference can be astounding.

 

Unfortunately, I've been unable to find any in current manufacture (though I've not looked for a while) - others may know differently.

And then, of course, there is the option of polarising binoculars ........

 

Eyesight-related, I was very recently diagnosed with the beginning of a film developing across my dominant eye - its in the early stages, a bit too soon for surgery, but currently looks like looking through cling-film - not too bad tightly stretched, but a bugger if it moves as I concentrate on something. Strangely, wearing polarising glasses in any light seems to make the problem go away almost 100%   ...   thouigh I get some odd looks on dingy days, or half-way around the shopping centre in very dark glasses :-)



#7 Vagabond

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 08:51 PM

 your spellchecker is correct.

I prefer English.  Many years ago a student colleague of mine preferred Graeco-English     A tutor pulled him up over "aecology"   and altered it to  "ecology"

 

For the rest of his student life my friend spelt the word as follows    "aecology (I'm not a bloody Yank)"     He finished up as a Professor in America, but I don't know if he took his spelling with him !

 

 

Glad to hear you have no cataracts, believe me, you don't want to know about them    Replacing the lens is trivial compared with the medico-legal hassle of proving you still have the visual ability to drive.


Edited by Vagabond, 30 March 2019 - 08:59 PM.



RNLI Governor

World species 471 : UK species 105 : English species 95 .
Certhia's world species - 215
Eclectic "husband and wife combined" world species 501

 

"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato
...only things like fresh bait and cold beer...


#8 chesters1

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 08:48 AM

So there are two of us at least !   Must be those Neanderthal genes....
 
Same with blood samples, I remember you saying that like me, no medic was any good at taking blood samples from you..   I have found one capable blood sampler, who I insist on having each time.  I notice she is going grey, so when she retires, its back to being a human pincushion again.

Like dentists always have a male ,when they lean towards you to do their job grab their balls and say "were not going to hurt each other are we?"
I am only half a pin cushion no-one has ever got blood from my left arm ,unfortunately in some cases it becomes a challenge and you end up with pilot holes in both arms!

Edited by chesters1, 31 March 2019 - 08:48 AM.

Believe NOTHING anyones says or writes unless you witness  it yourself and even then your eyes can deceive you

 

There is only one opinion i listen to ,its mine and its ALWAYS right even when its wrong

 

Its far easier to curse the darkness than light one candle

 

Mathew 4:19

 

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson


#9 ayjay

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 08:06 PM

The question that first springs to mind is how old were you when you developed cataracts?

 

It's not usually associated with youngsters and we know you've fished since childhood,  so have you always had this ability to see into the water without polaroids - and does that include depths of say 6' - 8' , or just shallow streams?

 

Spellchecker:  ask one of the grandchildren to install a British English dictionary in place of the American English one that your PC is using.



#10 Phone

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 02:40 AM

All,

 

Sunday evening google.

 

Perceiving polarization with the naked eye: characterization of human polarization sensitivity

 

Some got it

 

Phone

(that's the title of the research if you wish to google)