Go Prismatic Photograph through lenses of a prism

16 March 2018Creativity, Photography

Have you ever wondered how much a hint of a rainbow or a dreamy reflection could add to a scene? Prisms, anyone?

Yes, we are on the same page! If you too have a thing for prisms, you would be familiar with situations when you have a subject in the middle of a frame and it’s just not working for you, and you immediately pull out a prism. And? Surprise!!!! But how do you use them best?

Place a glass prism (no plastic, please) in front of your lens , either covering the entire front element or just a part of it and then tilt, swivel ,and turn the prism until something interesting happens. Then snap the shutter.

1. The Event

You can often use a prism’s colourful reflections to block out distracting elements in a scene you are photographing. If a bride is getting ready in a hotel room ,for example, and the bed she’s sitting on is cluttered with luggage, you can use the prism to cover that side of the frame. It may just be a streak of light, but it’s usually enough to take care of the problem. The sometimes dreamy , sometimes romantic effect doesn’t have to be big. It’s often subtle, and subtle is good. Here’s how you can use a prism and shoot your heart out!

2. Gather your gear

You can source your prisms online and get them in a variety of shapes,with a range of facets from simple to complex. They usually cost less than other expensive equipment you may use for your photoshoot. Choose glass ove plastic for they are clearer. Go for prisms with wide lenses, because wider lenses give you more freedom in placing the prismatic effects in a frame.

3. Location is the key

Scout for locations that may best suit for the backdrop. Often backgrounds with symmetrical patterns work best. The patterns can be more intricate and interestingly lit, when they are repeated in prismatic reflections.

4. Compose in your LCD

When you start shooting ,use your camera’s live-view mode. As you twist and turn the prism infront of the lens, preview the effect in live-view.If you like it,shoot it. If you don’t ,move on.

5. Experiment your heart out!

It ain’t that easy though ,getting the right prismatic effect at one go. But it is not impossible. Twist ,turn,rotate , flip and place the prism over a variety of places within a scene. The right effect might jut pop up, with enough trial and error. Prisms don’t work with all scenes and there are no rules regarding their use. Nevertheless, don’t lose heart, just put one infront of your lens and find out for yourself, whatever works for you. Most importantly, have fun. It’s mostly how they say ,you zap the fun out of an activity and it reflects on your art right there, rightaway.

6. Go pro at it with your software

The last thing you need to do is finesse the image in software. You may use modified presets from your filter set. Cater to all those minute details and change the highlights and shadows. Adjust the contrast and sharpening and keep making those fine adjustments until you are good to go!

So, now you know how to shoot through a prism for an offbeat look . Explore and experiment with them and bring out the artist in you! Cheers!