New work – PolaMaps



The man in the photo is Don Herbert. You might recognize him as Mr. Wizard – the host of the excellent science show for kids that was televised during the 50’s and 60’s. During those years the show was known simply as, Watch Mr. Wizard. Later, during the 80’s and 90’s, Don Herbert could be seen on his other show, Mr.Wizard’s World.

Over the last 6 years, I’ve been photographing a series based on one of his shows that I saw many years ago when I was a kid.

During that show, Mr. Wizard showed how amazing polarized light is and how you can use it to create unusual colors and effects with certain kinds of plastic.

That particular show made a big impression on me as a kid and the concepts stayed with me over the years.

But it was while exploring the NASA LANDSAT images website for another project, that the idea came to me to use Mr. Wizard’s polarized light experiment to pay homage to and re-imagine the beautiful and abstract images of the Earth’s surface by the LANDSAT cameras.

I used polarized light and Mylar plastic combined with water to create polarized light landscapes – or what I call PolaMaps.

Mylar is the brand name for a special type of stretched polyester film. Melinex and Hostaphan are two other well known trade names for this plastic, which is more generally known as BoPET or biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate.


I’ll be posting the complete series here over the next few weeks.



PolaMap 14

©David Moenkhaus













Pola Map 14

30″ x 20″

ed. 5


©David Moenkhaus - all rights reserved 773 612-4166

©David Moenkhaus

PolaMap 5

30″ x 20″

ed. 5


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