Polarized Crystals

by Nino Gordeladze

Rochester Institute of Technology
4th Year Imaging and Photographic Technology Student


The objective of this project was to demonstrate the effects of cross-polarization on various types of crystals. My interest in cross-polarized photography of crystals began when my professor demonstrated melting crystals on a microscope slide and photographed them using the cross-polarization method. The result was magnificent! Polarizers pass light rays vibrating in specific directions. When two polarizers are layered such that they transmit light of perpendicular orientations, together they will become opaque. This is called cross polarization. The birefringence of crystals (double refraction) allows the entering light to produce certain colors when polarized. Each image of the crystals looked like an original, unique, piece of art with different shapes and beautiful colors. After my initial reaction, it was clear to me that I wanted to photograph many different chemicals and explore their artistic potential. I searched for captivating scenes to photograph in each crystal slide.

To find out more about the cross polarization and birefringence, please visit the following websites:
Link 1 Link2

Equipment Set Up

Preparing the Crystals


Back To Main Page