An Unusual Form of Light Painting
April 19, 2013 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Step by step tutorial on making beautiful abstract Refractographs; caustic patterns produced as light reflects and refracts through an object. [check the via for some amazing examples]
posted by quin (11 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Onto my to do list.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:17 AM on April 19, 2013

I'll be doing both this and the "glow sticks in a waterfall" thing in the near future.
posted by Sleeper at 9:32 AM on April 19, 2013


Definately on my camera projects list now!

Thanks for the post.
posted by Faintdreams at 10:10 AM on April 19, 2013

Not only is this post about beautiful photos produced through a unique technique, but I learned a new definition today.

From the sentence structure, I assumed caustic was a fancy way of saying 'caused by', but it's quite specific:

caustic--The enveloping surface formed by light rays reflecting or refracting from a curved surface, especially one with spherical aberration.

Light is fun to play with.
posted by BlueHorse at 11:32 AM on April 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm wondering if I could make this work with my green lazer... Eye damage incoming...
posted by ~Bert at 11:48 AM on April 19, 2013

Caustic... patterns?

Ah, learn something new every day! All the optics I studied and I never learned this term... rassum frassum education.
posted by Eideteker at 11:57 AM on April 19, 2013

I'm wondering if I could make this work with my green lazer

The narrator advises against it; the laser will likely damage the sensor in your camera. Though I imagine if you had enough refraction, you might be able to get away with it. I don't know that I'd want to risk my camera on that chance though.
posted by quin at 12:13 PM on April 19, 2013

guess I missed that part by watching without sound, I tried it but was just getting mostly green haze (used a diamond cut glass 'crystal')
posted by ~Bert at 12:19 PM on April 19, 2013

I did this a while back using a laser, projecting the refracted light onto photo paper. It was fun.
posted by scose at 2:48 PM on April 19, 2013

I need to try this. I remember my intro photography professor mentioning at the beginning of class that he could create images in the dark using only a small flashlight as a light source. I suppose this is another method. There's one point I didn't understand, though: what are they using to hold the glass in a stable position?
posted by quiet earth at 3:41 PM on April 19, 2013

As a rendering engineer I love to see the word Caustic come up in non-mathematically related posts.

As a photographer I am trying this as soon as I get home.
posted by darkfred at 8:17 PM on April 19, 2013

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