We all need to shake things up once in a while to keep our inspiration fresh. Few things are as damaging for any artist as feeling as if they are in a rut, the same old, same old. Nothing new or exciting.
When that feeling starts to enter my artistic endeavors, I try new things to get me thinking differently or looking at the same subject in a new light.
Enter the magical kaleidoscope!
This is a cheap, gimmicky kid’s toy to mix up your creative side. I first used one when asked by a client to employ one for a portrait shoot. He was looking for something different for promo shots and his music (under the band name The Cheebacabra) has a physchadelic feel to it, which works well with a kaleidoscope.
Here then are some tips for shooting with a kaleidoscope to get your creative juices flowing again.
- Use both sides of the kaleidoscope. They produce different patterns.
- When holding the scope at a distance, it can be helpful to focus on the rim of the scope if your autofocus is freaking out from all the images.
- Manual focus will often be your friend with the shifting patterns.
- Hold the scope close to your camera for lesser multiples and further for more.
- Vary the angle to let images ‘bleed’ off one direction or the other.
- Purchase only a kaleidoscope which is clear all the way through if you want multiple images. The longer versions, with cool stuff on the inside, don’t allow for as much playing.
- Take a photo with the kaleidoscope, then transfer it to your computer. With that image on the screen, take another shot through the kaleidoscope for even more multiples. Rinse and repeat.
- Most of all, have fun!
This is a technique that works with high-end DSLRs or simple point and shoots. And kaleidoscopes are cheap; mine cost all of $4USD (here is a link to the manufacture’s website).
Post a link to your images below if you have good results with this technique.