Wedding photographer Sam Hurd has revealed a technique that he uses to create some pretty incredible images. He's dubbed the method "prisming", and involves holding a long, thin, triangular prism up to a prime lens in order to control diffraction, and cause some pretty spectacular effects.
Hurd has uploaded a number of the images that he's shot through the prism, and it's quite impressive the variety of effects he's managed to coax out of a $12 piece of glass. From the incredible diffraction of the second photo in the post, through artificial rainbows, reflecting other areas of the scene over the field-of-view, and bizarre and wonderful lens flares. Some of the resulting images do look a bit chintzy, but on the whole they're very well done. And it's even cheaper than a Lensbaby.
Hurd emphasizes that the real trick is spending enough time with the hardware to discover its nuances:
I can’t recommend trying this enough. Pick up a prism (heck – pick up anything you can shoot through) but decide on something and stick with it. It’s fun to try tons of different objects to shoot through and almost anything will make an image look “different,” but the key is actually sticking with the same item over and over so you start to pick up in the unique characteristics of it and eventually learn to use it quickly and effectivly — which we all know is incredibly important in the field of wedding photography.
It might just be time to go and rummage through a junk drawer or two, to see what I can dig up.