prism photo of scenery  by Fredrik Solli Wandem on Unsplash

Prism Photography: 8 Creative Tricks | 10 Cheap Prisms for Amazing Effects

August 31, 2022

Prism photography is a fun and creative way to add interesting effects to your photos. By using a prism, you can create cool optical illusions. This article will show you some creative ways to use prisms in your photography, as well as 10 cheap prisms that you can buy to get started.

What Is Prism Photography?

Prism photography is a photography technique that involves using a prism to scatter, reflect or bend light on a subject. This results in some exciting and beautiful effects, which you can use to add an extra element of creativity to your images.

Despite adding a touch of quirkiness, you can use prism photography to hide unwanted elements in an image or even create the illusion of objects that are not there.

Using prisms for photography has many advantages. Prisms are affordable and easily found in most camera stores or online. Some of them are also lightweight and portable, making them easy to carry around with you on your photography adventures.

10 Prisms You Can Use for Creative Prism Photography

1. Short Triangular Prisms

Short Triangular Prisms for photography

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash-


  • Breaks light into the colors of the rainbow
  • Forms side reflections on the subject
  • Forms a sky integration effect above the subject


  • Lightweight and portable
  • It Can be held in the hand
  • Produces interesting effects


  • Difficult to control the prism

2. Long Triangular Prism

taking photo with a Long Triangular Prism

Photo by Braxton Apana on Unsplash


  • It creates a direct light projection of the object in front of the lens on the subject's face.


  • Controlling it is easy
  • It can hide elements in the scene that you don't want in the final image
  • It's very versatile


  • Heavy hence can be tiresome to use for a long time.

3. Kaleidoscope Lens

prism photo with Kaleidoscope Lens

Image Credit:

It is also called Fractal Filter.


  • Creates a dreamy, otherworldly effect
  • Produces multiple reflections on the subject


  • You can find it almost anywhere
  • Lightweight and portable
  • It creates a unique and interesting effect


  • It produces a particular effect.

4. Linear Prism Filter

Linear Prism Filter for prism photo

Image Credit:


  • It makes you see two of everything or sometimes several of the same things depending on the angle.


  • You can find it almost anywhere
  • Lightweight and portable


  • It may be challenging to keep the prism in place.

5. Old Transparent CD Rom

Old Transparent CD Rom for prism photo

Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash


  • It creates a rainbow effect. The effect can be strong or light, depending on the sun.


  • Creates rainbows
  • Can be held in the hand
  • Inexpensive


  • One must have old CD ROMs.

6. Giant School Prism

Giant School Prism for photoshoot

Image Credit:


  • You can use it to create a curved bokeh effect.
  • Creates sky integration effect on the subject


  • Can cover the entire lens
  • Can be used with a wide variety of lenses
  • Can be used to blur the background


  • Heavy hence can be difficult to hold in place for a long time.

7. Coated Field Glasses Lens


Coated Field Glasses Lens used as prism in photoshoot

 Image Credit:


  • Casts color shadows of the rainbow on the subject
  • Can fake sun flares


  • Projects different colors
  • Can be used to create a starburst effect
  • portable


  • It is not easy to control the lens.

8. Flat Old Watch Glass

watch glass used as prism for photos

Photo by Pathum Danthanarayana on Unsplash


  • Diffuses light on one of the subjects' side


  • You can find it almost anywhere
  • Lightweight and portable


  • The effect is not very strong.

9. Eyeglasses Lens

glasses used for prism photography

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash


  • It creates a ghost light reflection on the side of the subject.


  • Can be used to create a ghosting effect
  • Lightweight and portable


  • It is not easy to control

10. Chandelier Crystal

Chandelier Crystal used as prism in photography

Photo by Zane Lee on Unsplash


  • It creates a dreamy, otherworldly effect.


  • Lightweight and portable
  • Can create unique and interesting effects
  • Can be used to blur the background


  • The effect is very specific.

Tips and Tricks for Creative Prism Photos

1. Attaining Abstract with a Kaleidoscope Lens of Full-Size

This lens works well in creating patterns in the frame that are unique and interesting. When these patterns combine, they create abstract art in your camera.

The main disadvantage of using this lens is that it produces a particular effect; hence, photographers won't have various effects to choose from. However, who knows, maybe playing with the kaleidoscope effect could turn into something beautiful.

2. Adding Rainbow Coloured Lens Flare

Two common methods can easily achieve this. The first involves placing the prism in front of the camera lens, then rotating it until you see a colorful flare.

The second method is holding the prism in front of the camera lens between the light source and the subject. The prism will act as a gobo and cast a beautiful and colorful flare on your image.

3. Multiplying the Interesting Bits

photo of a photographer with prism effects

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

This trick involves enhancing interesting elements already existing in the scene by multiplying them using a prism. You can do this by placing the prism on the lens and finding an interesting element in the background, such as a flower.

The prism will then reflect and multiply the image of the flower, adding an interesting effect to your image.

4. Hiding Elements with a Long Triangular Prism

This can be useful for hiding elements in the scene that you do not want in your image. You can easily achieve this by holding the prism in front of the lens on the side in the frame where you want to hide the element, then adjusting the prism's angle until you hide the element from view.

5. Using a Wide Aperture

prism photo

Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash

You can use a wide aperture to create a beautiful and dreamy effect in your images. It would be best to use a wide aperture to shoot the subject for a smoother transition between the prism and the rest of the frame, as it will help blur the lines and make the effect more dreamy.

6. Holding the Prism in the Right Position

This is one of the essential tips for taking great prism photos. It would be best to ensure that you held the prism at the correct angle for the light to be scattered or reflected correctly. The prism should be in front of the lens, either on the side or in the middle, depending on the focal length you choose.

Do not forget to hold your prism at an angle, and then experiment with different positions until you find the one that works best for the effect that you are going for.

7. Carefully Select the Prism

One of the most critical factors that will affect the outcome of your image is the type of prism that you use. Many different types of prisms are available in the market, each with its unique effect.

So, it is essential that you carefully select the prism you will use for your image, depending on the effect you want.

8. Adding Extra Lights

prism photo of a girl

Photo by pawel szvmanski on Unsplash

Adding light sources can help add an extra element of creativity to your images. You can do this by placing the prism in front of the lens and finding a light source such as the sun or a lamp.

The light will then be refracted through the prism and create a beautiful and colorful effect on your image.


If you are a photographer or even a beginner who wants to add a touch of creativity to your images, then prism photography is definitely for you. It is a technique that is not only easy to learn but is also very affordable.

So go ahead and experiment with different types of prisms and see what amazing effects you can create. With a bit of practice and patience, you can master this technique and produce some stunning images.

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