Special effects attachments

Some optical attachments are made of clear plastic with faceted surfaces to give a multiple image of your subject. This way, you can repeat whatever is composed in the center of the frame into three or more separated but overlapping images, like Figure 40.1. Some filters work by having a parallel fluted pattern, which turns one narrow strip of the image into a row of repeats. Strips may run vertically (Figure 40.2) or at any angle you choose to rotate the attachment. When you are making multiple image shots, pick a subject with a strong, simple shape and plenty of plain background.

Another attachment, known as a starburst and made of etched or moulded clear plastic (Figure 40.3), spreads bright highlights in a scene into star-like patches with radiating 'spokes'. Much used in the 1970s and 1980s, the starburst filter was seen as a good way to glamorize shots that contained brilliant but well-separated pinpoint highlights - for example, direct sunlight sparkling on water, disco spotlights and tight groups of lamps in dark interiors or at night.

As you rotate the attachment spokes rotate, so you can position them at the most interesting angle. Results from a softly lit scene, however, are disappointing, as the starburst just gives flat, slightly diffused results.

Figure 40.1 A single lamp-post against white sky, turned into overlapping shapes by a three-faceted prism lens attachment.
Fluted Glass Photoshop
Figure 40.2 A reeded glass attachment, fluting set vertically here, repeats a single portrait profile.

Almost all optical-effect attachments alter the image according to lens focal length and the aperture you set. An SLR camera with aperture preview button is the best way to make an exact check of image appearance at the f-number you will be using. There are dozens of different effects attachments made. They include types which just give soft focus around the edges of the picture. Others are bifocals containing a portion of close-up lens you can rotate to coincide with some small close object so it appears sharp when the camera's main lens is focused on a more distant part of the background scene. This way, a foreground flower may record with as much detail as a landscape filling the other half of a shot.

Though all of these special effects filters are still readily available, much of their popularity has waned with the advance of digital photography. Many of the effects that were once only available as attachments for the camera lens can now be reproduced digitally via any good image editing package. Software packages like Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements contain many of these styles of effects filters for you to experiment with (see Figures 40.4 and 40.5).

Figure 40.4 Many of the 'front of camera' filters previously used to create visual effects in photographs have been replaced by digital versions, which are applied to the images back at the desktop. Here a Glass filter is added to a picture, producing a similar effect as if the original picture was photographed through a piece of rippled glass.

Figure 40.4 Many of the 'front of camera' filters previously used to create visual effects in photographs have been replaced by digital versions, which are applied to the images back at the desktop. Here a Glass filter is added to a picture, producing a similar effect as if the original picture was photographed through a piece of rippled glass.

Faceted Prism Optics
Figure 40.3 Lens attachments. (1) Starburst. (2) Fluted glass. (3) Half-lens (focuses a nearby object in part of the picture). (4) Five-facet prism. (5) Holder for filters.
Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Digital Camera and Digital Photography

Compared to film cameras, digital cameras are easy to use, fun and extremely versatile. Every day there’s more features being designed. Whether you have the cheapest model or a high end model, digital cameras can do an endless number of things. Let’s look at how to get the most out of your digital camera.

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  • honey
    How to make a reeded glass effect in photoshop?
    7 years ago

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