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Visual Ecology$
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Thomas W. Cronin, Sönke Johnsen, N. Justin Marshall, and Eric J. Warrant

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151847

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151847.001.0001

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Vision in Attenuating Media

Vision in Attenuating Media

(p.206) 9 Vision in Attenuating Media
Visual Ecology

Thomas W. Cronin

Sönke Johnsen

N. Justin Marshall

Eric J. Warrant

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that it is important to understand vision through attenuating media, especially for visual ecologists studying aquatic species. Few areas of visual ecology are filled with more misconceptions, however. Common myths include: that visibility is degraded entirely by light scattering; that water is blue due to light scattering; and that one can see farther underwater using yellow lens filters because they screen out the blue, scattered light. The chapter dispels these myths and explores how vision is affected by both water and fog. There is only a small section on contrast attenuation in air because it is a far less significant issue in nearly all cases. Air does indeed absorb and scatter light. However, it does so to a much, much lesser extent than water does.

Keywords:   vision, attenuating media, visual ecologists, aquatic species, visibility, light scattering, water, fog

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