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Using a Prism in Photography - Epic Reflections and Flare!

Using a cheap prism makes for some awesome in camera looks!


Here a prism is used to reflect the ocean that was behind us at Black Rock Beach, Big Talbot Island.

This is a fun little creative photography trick I love to use during engagement sessions that can really add some drama to a shot. While you do get some awesome photos be sure not to overuse it! One or two great shots is usually all I will deliver using this style. BUT! You can add all kinds of beautiful reflections and flare by using a prism held close to your lens. I have gotten some great pics using this technique.

All you need is one of these cheap prisms.


I picked this one up from Amazon for around $11. Click Here to view (Not an affiliate link FYI)




Be sure to get one where the ends are not capped as light will not come through the ends and the effect is not as good. Plus you can use a small flashlight held to one of the ends to light up the prism itself.


How to use the prism for photography


All you really have to do is hold the prism up close and in front of your lens. I'm talking really close. Hold the camera with one hand and the prism with the other. There isn't much to it!


Here are some tips that I have picked up over time using Prism in Photography.


• Sunset back lit images do really well. If you can get some good flare and the prism interacting with each other you get all kinds of wonderful unpredictable shots.


• Move the prism around to see where the best light comes through. Not only move it within the composition, but also twist it slightly while moving and you will soon find some great combinations.


• You can usually add light flares or a reflection of the surroundings, it works really well when you have a beautiful location.


• The more light you can catch in the prism the better! This is why back lit sun images work so well. • Not enough light? This technique doesn't work very well in low light scenarios (but don't let that stop you from trying!). You can use a little LED flashlight held against one end shining through to get some interesting effects.

As you can see you can really add some fun dramatic images to your portfolio using this technique, but again use it sparingly! Let me know if you have used this before and if you have any tips or tricks you have picked up!

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© 2019 by  Paul Farace.