Because the reflected light is held back by the filter, colours in the scene become purer and more vibrant, and without all the stray scattered light, contrast gets a nice boost as well. The benefits are easy to see in nature, landscape and architectural photography, but in industry, polarising filters are used in a very different way. Thanks to their electro-magnetic wave filtering properties, they reveal the stress points in plastics, so are used to display this. In this video, you’ll see how the industrial action of a polariser can be used to turn humble plastic items into fascinating still life subjects, festooned with rainbow colours and great textures. You need a polariser to do the technique, but you also need a polarised light source behind the subject. This usually requires ordering and paying for specialised sheets of polarising material, but there’s something you’re likely to have already that will be the perfect stand in!