Creative pictures: 7 fun looks you can get with a prism

Who has a new prism?!

I know a lot of you do since I’ve received a lot of questions about how to use a prism!

I bought my prism here one Amazon and it looks like this (at least it did before one of my kids dropped it):

prism

Many of you know that I teach how to use them in my Exploring Creative Photography workshop but I wanted to share some tips here for everyone to see because it’s such a fun and inexpensive tool to add a creative flare to your photography.

1. Bright airiness

Adding a brightness to an image is probably the most frequent way I use my prism. The sun was behind her so I was working with some great backlight here. The prism was held parallel to my lens and at the top.

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

2. Double vision

I love reflections and that you can get them with a prism! Here, I held the prism parallel to and right in the middle of my lens and turned it until I saw her reflection (the sun was to my back). To get reflections, you need to turn the prism slowly and be patient. If you’re careful, you can even get two reflections.

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

3. Rainbows

Rainbows are a big favorite with the prism for both me and my kids. It’s seriously one of the easiest ways to get them excited about pictures, to show them one of these. The rainbows are best achieved with bright light and holding the prism parallel to your lens. With all of these, the prism was at the bottom right corner of my lens and held at a slight angle.

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

4. Rainbow flames

Sorry but I didn’t really know what to call this, lol. By holding the prism parallel to your lens and have it just barely be visible, you can turn the prism at just the right angle and get what almost look like flames of rainbows.

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

5. Texture

By holding the prism perpendicular to my lens, I was able to get some subtle blur from the prism and this bonus texture (sometimes not cleaning things pays off).

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

6. Rolling fog

I’ll just be real honest here, I’m not sure how I got this and I haven’t been able to recreate it yet but it was too fun not to include 🙂

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

A few tips on using a prism:

  1. It does not have to be super sunny to use. While you do need light, I’ve used mine with the sun hiding behind the clouds and still gotten fun images with it.
  2. The prism does not have to be between the lens and the light. Light is bouncing everywhere so even if your back is to the sun, you’ll still be able to refract the light.
  3. A little goes a long way. The effect of the prism spreads through your frame more than you expect. Placing the prism around the edges of your lens is usually enough.

And just a few more fun photos:

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

child photography with a prism outside by Oklahoma photographer April Nienhuis

If you’d like to join me in my next workshop and push your creativity, registration is open. You can LEARN MORE HERE or SIGN UP DIRECTLY HERE. We start Monday, May 22, 2017.

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Using a prism to get creative photos is fun and inexpensive but can be tricky at first. Here are some tips that I use when shooting with a prism.

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Author: April Nienhuis

Lover of thunderstorms and despiser of socks, I live in rural Oklahoma with my firefighter/EMT husband and our 3 homeschooled kids. I spend my days deep in blogging, SEO, and social media as I teach photography to others, helping them capture their memories more beautifully, as the Director of Online Media for Click & Company.

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