Young man and woman standing amidst golden yellow autumn trees, looking in different directions, sunlight prisming through the leaves.

In 2012 I developed a technique using a simple prism to create in camera light distortions, reflections,  and flare. It utilizes a similar approach as other ideas I developed such as broken freelensing and lens chimping.

A couple stands close together, smiling, in front of a sunlit wall covered with green ivy, captured through the creative technique of prisming photography.

I aptly called what I was doing “prisming” and shared a detailed blog post about what I was doing.

The concept was shared extensively across the internet on sites such as Fstoppers, Gizmodo, Petapixel, Cnet, and published in magazines such as Popular Photography.

Monochrome photo of a couple holding hands, with a surreal, blurry reflection of their upper bodies in the sky through light refraction, surrounded by a misty landscape.

Needless to say, I was thrilled with how interested photographers were in an idea I hatched by pure experimentation and luck while browsing a science shop on amazon one night.

A silhouette of a couple kissing, backlit by a wall of golden twinkling lights, creating a prisming effect.

The effects that are created with a prism are some of my favorite, because the result is always unexpected and thrilling. It also adds a human touch to an image as you truly see the hands of the maker and no two images are alike.

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I encourage everyone to stay inventive and push their own creative ideas continuously, but more importantly share what you discover with those around you. It’ll not only make you appreciated in your photography community, but will give you a reason to keep developing new ideas and not stagnate. Will other photographers take your ideas and claim them as their own? Of course. I find it happening all the time, but that’s the price of putting ideas out into the world.

A man and a woman reflected in a puddle against a brick wall, with an overlay of golden light streaks created through the photography technique of prisming.

I’ve since developed many other techniques that I outline throughout my website and extensively in my group workshops that I host around the globe.

Sam Hurd

Sam Hurd


Starting as a political news and celebrity portrait photographer in DC, Sam was instantly drawn to wedding photography as a space to promote more inventive ideas. Sam’s focus is on photographic techniques that are deceptively simple but have the potential to transform difficult or uninspiring shooting environments into one-of-a-kind opportunities for every photo made.

Most reviews, technical write-ups, and other photo nerd content is posted first, and exclusively, over on his patreon.