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  • Phil Hansen

Filming through Kaleidoscope


The other day I was in Half Price Books and saw a kaleidoscope and wondered what it would look like to film through it while drawing. Granted this could be more easily done with an app but there was something about the physical process that seemed interesting.

So, two tripods were setup. One held the kaleidoscope and the other held the camera. Got the kaleidoscope about an inch from the surface and began filming. I was surprised how much a physical kaleidoscope added to the visual.

1. The center is in focus and it gets blurry outside of that

2. The edges of the viewing area got darker

3. Because there's a glass ball in the tip of the kaleidoscope, everything is distorted.

All of these are not true with digital kaleidoscopes. Kinda interesting.

The video made me laugh because of a couple things.

1. First off, what is happening in real life is rarely translated to video. I was in a brightly lit room just putting odd shapes in front of the kaleidoscope and then throwing the paper away but the video is all ethereal and then punctuated with odd moments of showing the scene with a really odd zoom in.

2. Music.

Lastly, strangely enough, I couldn't find any video of someone drawing this way. Maybe it's too basic but it seemed interesting to me. Perfect for a midday sidetrack.



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