Thursday, 2 August 2012


Literally Translucency means ‘to pass light’. Dictionary meaning of translucent reads - permitting light to pass through but diffusing it so that persons, objects, etc., on the opposite side are not clearly visible. Frosted window glass is translucent but not transparent. . Commonly found examples of translucent materials are opal glass, milky liquids etc.

In the case of a transparent object it passes light through itself without affecting it, or rather modifying it. We could see clearly through transparent objects. But in the case of translucent objects it will allow light to pass but will modify it so that the image appearing through a translucent object appears broke or diffused.

Photo By fractalid

 Translucent materials and behavior of light passing through them.

Flowing water is transparent but when photographed at slow shutter speeds to capture the movement, water appears translucent. It takes on the feel of foaming milk, the movement is registered but the individual reflections from the surface and the bubbles all appear merged together as a blur.

Long exposures have these special effects on many objects, smoke and steam could appear to be internally lit when subject to super slow shutter speeds.

Another classic example of translucency is a polished semi precious stone. Light passing through these stones gets diffused inside of the surface giving it a glowing feel while light reflecting at the surface just shows its shiny reflective surface. Photographers generally use separate lights to light the interior and the surface to enhance this effect.

 In the next article we will discuss about Quality Of Light -Reflection

Related Reading