Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I've been wanting to work with a kaleidoscope for a long time now, and finally I got the chance to.  { tcb } has the hookup at Ax-Man and was able to score some front surface mirrors.  

All we did was clean the mirrors and tape them together at the right angle. I opted for the 30-60-90 right triangle design using 3 mirrors.  No special measurements were taken.  You just have to look through the kaleidoscope and match up the pattern so that it's symmetrical.  We taped them together tight and it worked!

So we brought this thing to a warehouse, and I wanted to use it in a light painting.  I had a few pieces of tape on the end of the kaleidoscope that became the "object".  We found a crazy old vending machine that I was really feeling to paint.  After I had everything setup with the camera, I tried holding the scope up to the lens and surface painting only the tape on it.  It was difficult to get a crisp image that was usable, and using a second tripod for the kaleidoscope would have helped.  Still experimenting..
 I made some new colors that I got to try out too and I must say this light purple color is going to be real fun to use.

The above photo is of 2 pieces of tritium (used as a gun sight) taped to the end of the scope. I individually surface painted them and this is what I got. 

For this shot I drew a pattern on a piece of paper and taped it to the end.  Then I painted it with the 2 colors.

I think if the kaleidoscope was twice the size it would be easier to take photos with it, but harder to transport and make.

Much of what I learned about these reflecting things comes Wayne Schmidt and his experiments with them.  He has created some amazing patterns that I would like to try.

One of the most incredible kaleidoscope artists I've found is Marc Tickle.  His scopes are truly jaw dropping - I wish I could look through one.   

So I think you should start making kaleidoscopes and realizing their potential with light painting.