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How to use fractal filters for prismatic photography

The desire for creativity inspires many photographers and encourages them to study and use various creative devices in their work. In this article, you will learn about devices such as fractal filters, and what they can bring to your photo.

What is a prism?

Prism is a transparent polyhedron, the bases of which are in parallel planes, and the side faces are parallelograms. For photography, a prism with triangular bases is usually used. As a rule, a prism is made of glass or crystal, but can also be made of transparent acrylic. One of the best-known properties of a prism is the creation of a rainbow using an effect known as dispersion of light (decomposition of light into a spectrum).

The decomposition of light is not the only thing that a prism can do. Refraction also occurs in it – the refraction of rays passing through its lateral faces. This means that you can see in the prism an image that is at an angle of 90 degrees to the angle that you are actually viewing. This effect, among others, is used in fractal filters.

So, refraction is the refraction of light at the boundary of two media through which this ray of light passes. For example, when a beam passes through a glass figure in the air, its direction will change.

If the glass figure has a spherical shape, it can invert the image, as is the case with lensball. The special triangular shape of the side faces of the prism also leads to the fact that the light not only refracts, but also breaks into all colors of the rainbow.

Fractal filters use refraction to create experimental images. This allows you to create stunning effects in the camera.

What is a fractal filter?

Fractal filters are supplied as a set of filters, each of which has its own unique properties. They are made of glass and create prismatic distortions of light.

Each filter has a three-finger grip for ease of use by the photographer. From filter to filter, the glass itself has various shapes. One filter may have the properties of a conventional prism, while the other is more like a diamond in a ring.


Fractal filters can create some interesting effects when used in photography:

kaleidoscope – a lot of repeating images on the same photo always look great, and fractal filters allow you to get this using the refraction process. You can use a kaleidoscope for portrait photographs or work out the main object, for example, a long tree.
double exposure – in fact, you do not do double exposures using fractal filters, but the viewer will think that this is exactly so. You will get a background image and an image refracted through the filter at an angle of 90 degrees from your background image.
rainbow effect. Using fractal filters like prisms can create a rainbow in your image. This rainbow portion of the image is likely to be distorted and will serve as a frame for a sharper portion of the photograph, which is less affected by the properties of the prism.
Fractal Filter Specification

Creates blur / prism effects, which is optimal for photography and very useful for video.
Optimum performance with a focal length of 40 mm or more.
Optimum performance with a wide aperture (f / 5.6 or more).
Refractive Index 1.6.
Thin profile ring (7 mm) – helps reduce the likelihood of vignetting or optical interference at wide angles.
Reflective chrome finish – reflects light and creates bokeh that will be a great addition to your shots.
Total diameter 100 mm – glass diameter 93 mm + profile ring 7 mm. One size fits all.
Filter Ratio: 1.
Passed Light Share (1 / FF): 95-100%
Weight: 20 g – 100 g.
How to use fractal filters for prismatic photography

You hold the fractal filter in front of the camera lens, and do not screw them to the lens itself. Fractal filters can have a Gorrilla Pod style device that allows you to use a fractal filter without the help of your hands, but in general you will hold the camera with one hand and the filter with the other.

The first step is to choose the right fractal filter. This will depend on the effect you want to create, be it a blur, a kaleidoscope or a double image. And it will also depend on the scene you are photographing. A landscape image may not work like a kaleidoscope that would be suitable for portrait photography
Use a standard lens, or a macro lens. Optimal is the focal length between 40 mm and 100 mm. With fractal filters, an aperture near f4 is well suited, but you can experiment with larger or smaller sizes.
It may be difficult to reproduce the desired image. Pay close attention to the first photo.

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