The Lourake Prism Technique

I came across this great site it feaures the work of George Lourake, and his theories on prism photography, this quote is taken from the site…

Lourake Prism Technique

The Lourake Prism Technique is based on the fact that refracted sunlight passed through glass will produce wonderful images. I will not go into the science here but it is based on Reduction.

OK let’s get started.  First, you need a prism. I used chandelier prisms at first and they worked fine and then I went on Ebay and found some larger ones. Stabilizing the prism was a bit tricky, I used play dough and a harmonica holder until I figured out a stand from a tripod. This is important because you are changing the positions of the prism depending on where the sun is located. Ideally the sun is coming through a window, into a room that is dark. This means you should close off all the other light in the room except for the light going through the prism.

Now, after you have positioned the prism to shine a rainbow onto a surface-the floor or a table-you put down a White background. I use mat board or computer paper, anything white because white reflects all light and any other color will absorb the light.

Next you need a camera, preferably a digital camera that can be held with one hand. This is important because you need one hand to hold the glass and a heavy camera will not work. Put the camera setting on Macro and no flash. Now you are ready.

You have a rainbow on a white surface, your camera in one hand, and in the other hand a piece of glass.

Start with a water glass. Pass the glass in front of the rainbow so that the light goes through it and the image shines on the white surface. Turn the glass slowly and snap your pictures. Try to keep the camera perpendicular to the white surface so the image will not be blurry.

After you get the technique down start using different glass objects. Your glass should be lite enough to hold in one hand. I like the curvy glass like glass animals and fancy ashtrays. Colored glass gives you different effects, crystal gives clear pictures, plastic even works. Try a small plastic water bottle about half full and watch the show.

The whole process is moving. The sun is shifting so you have to follow it by moving your prism. The sun is also different every day. You will get clearer pictures when there are no clouds, some wind or after a rain. When you are shooting you will see how close to the image you need your camera to be for clear pictures.

Do your editing after so you won’t loose the sunlight. Surround yourself with the glass you want to try before you shoot, again because you don’t want to be distracted by anything.

This is great advice, especially the cheap option, plastic water bottle. Here is some of Lourakes work that supports his ideas.

©George Lourake
©George Lourake
©George Lourake
©George Lourake

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