Now that's a cool camera.
May 29, 2006 5:25 PM   Subscribe

Ice pictures. Not pictures of ice, rather pictures taken with a lens made out of ice. Alternatively you could use the bottom of a beer bottle
posted by Mitheral (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sweet. Could something more durable be created by unevenly heating and melting a glass lens with a gas torch? I'd like to try that with video, somehow.
posted by evil holiday magic at 5:32 PM on May 29, 2006


Beats cereal boxes with pinholes.

So what's makes the difference between the final two pictures at the bottom of bottle?
posted by IndigoJones at 5:43 PM on May 29, 2006


I guess I just don't get it: except for this one, they all look either Photoshopped or blurry in the style of an inept camera operator.

Interesting concept, but not so much in the execution.
posted by Zozo at 5:48 PM on May 29, 2006


It would be nice if there was more information about the actual construction of the lenses and perfection of the method, rather than just the results. Regardless the pictures are interesting.

So, who's got a good "Beer goggles" joke ready?
posted by Rhomboid at 5:59 PM on May 29, 2006


I agree that more info on the manufacture of ice lenses would be good. Obviously one would want incredibly pure water, and I assume that it would be best to freeze the ice as quickly as possible to prevent long crystals from forming.

Possibly a mold immersed in crushed dry ice, or the like, to produce a block of ice which is then ground into shape? Or maybe he uses a lens shaped mold and does only a little grinding to polish and put the final shaping on the lens? Naturally any grinding would have to be done with cold tools in a cold environment.
posted by sotonohito at 6:03 PM on May 29, 2006


A lot of these look very Monet-esque.

Cool stuff.

(har, har)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:03 PM on May 29, 2006


I agree that more info on the manufacture of ice lenses would be good.

More likely ice filter placed over the lens?
a) far easier to accomplish technically
b) same result
c) rather less likely to result in water damage to interior of camera
posted by scheptech at 6:16 PM on May 29, 2006


Innovative, but the images are far from desirable.
posted by fire&wings at 6:25 PM on May 29, 2006


am I the only one who's bummed on the directions for making a beer bottle lens are in finnish?

or more importantly, am I the only one here who can't read finnish? I guess I'm behind on the times.
posted by punch_the_mayor at 6:40 PM on May 29, 2006


Re: making clear ice, I seem to recall from a Mythbusters episode that the key is not forming the ice fast, but agitating the water constantly to make sure there are no bubbles.

If it were me I think I would first perfect the process of making plain cylinders of optically clear ice, and then from there I would shape them into the desired form by chipping, grinding, or maybe melting. I guess it would be possible to just cast them to the desired form in one step but since ice expands as it forms I really don't think you'd be able to just pour water into a mold and expect to get anything with dimensional accuracy out of it.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:44 PM on May 29, 2006


Great stuff, I really liked it. I saw some stuff done once like this using insect eyes--bees, what a strange world they see. Fish, well, you know, fish eyes.
posted by BillyElmore at 6:44 PM on May 29, 2006


Possibly a mold immersed in crushed dry ice, or the like, to produce a block of ice which is then ground into shape? Or maybe he uses a lens shaped mold and does only a little grinding to polish and put the final shaping on the lens? Naturally any grinding would have to be done with cold tools in a cold environment.

MythBusters did a piece on trying to start a fire using a lens made of ice. It worked, but a big issue they had to address was manipulating the water in the frezing process to remove impurities and oxygen in the water to avoid cloudy ice (i.e. the "white" part of the ice cube you see when it pops out of the tray)

I don't remember the full episode but involved cycling the water during the freezing process to agitate all the water out of the lens.

OP: or, what Rhomboid said.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:59 PM on May 29, 2006


Starting Fire With an Ice Lens: ...boil water for 10 minutes to remove gas...the ice must be clear.

HowStuffWorks has some other suggestions for making clear ice.
posted by cenoxo at 7:31 PM on May 29, 2006


Starting Fire With an Ice Lens: ...boil water for 10 minutes to remove gas...the ice must be clear.

Yeah, I know, but I gotta ask anyway: the first step in making fire is to boil some water?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:39 PM on May 29, 2006


Matthew Wheeler took his first picture through an ice lens in response to a challenge by Scientific American and CBC calling on listeners to light a fire with a lens made entirely of ice.

I can't be the only one who thinks that it'd be cooler (ugh, sorry) to see the results of the original challenge than a bunch of blurry photographs.
posted by omarr at 8:07 PM on May 29, 2006


Oops, never mind. I somehow missed the last few comments.
posted by omarr at 8:10 PM on May 29, 2006


...the first step in making fire is to boil some water?

Um, check the link: that's for trying it at home. Sans civilization, you'd look for a piece of clear ice from a pond, stream, or icicle.
posted by cenoxo at 8:17 PM on May 29, 2006


punch_the_mayor writes "am I the only one who's bummed on the directions for making a beer bottle lens are in finnish?"

Sorry about that, I considered just posting the fourth page but thought even just the pictures of the process made the other pages worth it.
posted by Mitheral at 8:32 PM on May 29, 2006


I need an aspirin.
posted by HTuttle at 8:41 PM on May 29, 2006


Good post.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:58 PM on May 29, 2006


Couldn't you just make a mold of a lense then reproduce it in ice? That would seem more simple than grinding an ice block into a lense.
posted by puke & cry at 10:19 PM on May 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, you would need to mold, then grind away impurities.

Anyway, the pictures just look like those taken with a regular lense, with water droplets on it.
posted by delmoi at 11:01 PM on May 29, 2006


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