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18512Re: White (Neutral) Balance in Panoramas

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  • johncharlesriley
    Mar 7, 2008
      > Using black velvet this way is a very clever trick. What happens, I
      > believe, is that the "gray" appearance is caused by a myriad of
      > specular reflections from the surfaces of the fibers. Specular
      > reflections are always non-colored, so indeed this method should
      > produce a very neutral gray as long as the body of the fibers is very
      > dark in comparison.
      > --Rik

      Sorry, I have to jump in here. I am not sure what you might be thinking of, but specular
      reflections have the same color as the incident light. When you see yourself in a mirror,
      that is a specular reflection. A specular reflection is simply when light is reflected in a
      mirror-like fashion from a smooth surface. Examples are the glare off of a car (or water
      or snow) from the sun. They are problematic because you are seeing a reflection of the
      sun and not the object itself. Since specular reflections are partially polarized (or
      completely if at Brewster's angle), polarized sunglasses can drastically reduce their
      intensity. Then you can see the object itself by the diffusely reflected light, which is
      scattered in all directions.

      Sorry for being pedantic, but I am a physics professor and just can't help it 8-) Now, what
      else might be going on with the fibers of black velvet, I don't know, but it could be
      interesting to hear.

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