In today’s article you’ll learn how to use refraction for creative photos with just a few simple items you already have on hand. Let’s explore how to make beautiful and unique photos with refracted light.
What Is Refracted Light Photography?
Refracted light photography comes in several different forms. The effect is caused when light passes through an object of denser mass. This makes the light bend.
There are several different ways you can use this in your photography:
Crystal ball – The classic refraction photo is with the crystal ball. You invert your world with this amazing photography trick.
Wine glass – You can use a wine glass in a similar way to a crystal ball, if you fill it with water.
Water droplets – Water droplets will also refract light. They’re spherical so this will work in a similar way to a glass ball.
Prism – Prisms don’t just bend the light, they split it! Use this to create your own rainbow, or redirect the light for interesting effects.
One of the best items you can use for refraction photography is the crystal ball.
Refracted Light Through a Glass Ball
One of the best forms of refraction photography you can try involves using a glass ball. When refraction occurs inside a spherical glass ball you’ll be able to see the inverted image of the background behind the glass ball.
This effect can be great for landscape images, where the image inside the ball displays fish-eye like characteristics. But you’re photographing with a regular camera lens.
There are two main types of glass balls you can use, marble and the crystal ball.
We cover crystal ball photography in this in-depth article.