Photography Project: Photographing through Fractal Filters


I have this strange attraction to prisms.  I have a homemade one about the size of a triangular football, that I have lugged all over the streets of San Francisco and Vegas (I received fewer perplexed stares in Vegas).  I have purchased scientific prisms, children’s prisms (still my favorite), vintage prism lens filters, and am even considering buying prism glasses for rave parties and removing the lenses so I can hold them in front my my camera.  For Christmas, I decided to get serious, and make an investment in proper prisms, so I purchased the Fractal Filters set of three.

These filters are serious……they are substantial, they come with their own carrying case, and they require hand strength to hold them.  When I first started to use them, I was seriously frustrated.  I couldn’t seem to make them work.  The shape of one of them confused me, I had no idea what to do with it (its the one with the pie wedge cut through the side of it).  I determined an experienced prism person, such as myself, would not take defeat so easily.  So I decided to read “the instruction manual” on the site.  It was very helpful in understanding my focus, lens, and aperture choices.  I started to have better results.  Still……these will take some time, and a spirit of spontaneity in terms of accepting what presents itself, rather than what you had in mind to capture.

Starting image


Prism with clear center (note:  I couldn’t get the prism pattern to fill the frame, so I created a composite to the edges of the image.)


Prism with pie wedge


I could not make the third prism work with my set-up.  I will try again with a different setup, possibly outdoors with a strong single subject, and light source.

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