Over August I spent a bit of time practicing a new technique I discovered during the summer. The photos here are from some of the first attempts at using a prism in my photography. Rather than explain the technique myself, I’ll just point you towards Sam Hurd whose handy blog post got me started down this path.
Yup, so that prism, that pointy stick of glass. You may remember seeing me use this technique on one other blog post before, visiting David’s Tent 2014, although I didn’t explain it at the time. Lets see what we can do with it the first time I get serious about it while I take my dog out for a walk one afternoon.
As Sam explained, it is a great way to create extra visual interest in a photo or cover up something you don’t want there without having to resort to Photoshop. In the photo above I held a prism in front of the lower part of my lens to reflect the sky and obscure the ground. This creates an effect like that of a lake with trees popping out of it like small islands.
In the image below I realised I could duplicate recognisable structures in a somewhat creepy and ethereal manner. This is totally the kind of thing I would do if I wanted to imply something unseen.
Looking straight down the prism just ends up looking too obvious to me. It gives the game away with harsh edges and reminds of a child’s kaleidoscope. It’s not awful but would have to be used sparingly and under the right circumstances.
I love the way these next two feel. The way the subject matter blurs away from something solid, sharp and defined in the first, a clear distinction; and in the second, a constant, uncertain shifting of tones, angles, colours.
Finally, we have this one. A really gentle transition from foreground to background as the prism allows us to see the detail of the undergrowth up close and have it blend in with itself in the distance.