Photography & travel tips from an award-winning photographer, educator & wanderlust

Creative photo trick – Prism Photography

What I love most about photography is not it’s ability to take an instantaneous selfie, or how easy it is to shoot in digital vs analogue of yesteryear, but the endless CREATIVE ways a photographer can play. While being able to create some of these effects in post production takes a bit of time and software maneuvering, getting the shot in camera prior to any manipulation is always a plus in this busy photographer’s lifestyle.

Let me introduce you to my latest favorite gadget, which create some pretty cool tricks in my portrait or landscape work.

A prism – a see through rectangular piece of glass, which refracts lights that enters it. It comes in various sizes, but mine is about 5 inches long. Obtained for less than $10, this nifty little guy is my latest obsession. Let me show you why:

By playing with the angle of the prism with one hand and holding the camera in the other hand, you can reflect the subject. You can also put your camera on a tripod, but with my portrait work, I find it too limiting, since I’m always moving angles, positions and perspectives.


Create a rainbow-like effect by playing with the angle of the prism on a sunny day.

The image above features a prism on the right-hand side.  While in the image below, it is placed below the couple in the frame.

Another way to be playful with a prism, is to utilize it in your landscape photography. Set your camera to a long Shutter Speed, say 1 second, and move the prism in the lower section of the image in order to produce a result such as the one pictured below.

Have you had any experience with prism photography? Comment below!

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  1. I love all the tips and tricks you share! I usually just point and click a thousand times and then choose the best few. A prism looks like fun though and then I can use it in the apartment as a decorative item! Multi-purpose!

    • There’s nothing wrong with pointing and shooting a thousand times, as long as it is with intention, varying your angles, perspectives, settings, etc Then you’ll sure end up with not just one but probably a few great shots.

  2. I’m much more of a iPhone photographer than a creating effects kind of guy. But this seems pretty simple to do and can make some boring photos look really good. I’ll be sure to share this advice with my fiancee.

  3. Whoaaa this is so cool Alla!! How did you find out about it? I love the effects it has on your photos. I really appreciate photography and while there was a time when I wanted to get more into it, I realized I like admiring it better haha (it’s so much effort!)

    • Rocio, I think the effort that you put into learning a new hobby is probably similar to any other hobby. What I love about photography is that it’s a life long hobby and playing with various techniques, gadgets or software never gets old 🙂

  4. That’s really cool! I remember playing with prisms​in science class as a kid, but I never thought about using them in photography. There are some really interesting effects here. I like the idea of organic effects like that instead of doing all post production on the computer afterwards.

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