DIY Prism Filter Photo Effect

I’ve been really inspired lately by the dream-like images I’ve been finding on Pinterest. They all seem to have a double exposed, prismatic and psychedelic feel to them. I wanted to try to recreate some of those same effects on my own images, and I found something that works pretty well when it comes to achieving that dreamy look. I love discovering little tricks that can add cool effects to an image, especially if it doesn’t require much work to do so. All thanks to a pair of 3D glasses, I made a filter that can help produce some awesome photographs. Here’s how to make one!

3d glasses

What you need:

Paper 3D Glasses (I picked up a pack of 4 from Party City, but any party supply store should have them in stock)


cutting 3d glasses

Cut apart the 3D glasses so that you are only left with a rectangle that surrounds the clear plastic lens.

looking through prism

It should look something like the above picture.

shooting through filter

The basic way to use the filter is to hold it in front of your lens, then adjust depending on the image you want to create. I found that this filter works best the closer you hold it to the lens, and should be used on a sunny day or at night. The different ways you tilt and hold the filter will determine what kind of effect you’ll get. It needs a light source to pick up on, which is why the sun needs to be out if you are using it during the day, and I found that holding it up to lights at night creates a more dramatic prism effect. Below are a few examples I shot!


Clouds, 5 pm


Field of flowers, 3 pm


Ocean, 2:30 pm


Clouds, 5 pm

moon at night

Moon, 7:45 pm


Field of flowers, 3 pm


Clouds/skyline, 5 pm

I love the way the night image of the moon turned out, and especially some of the cloud shots! It might take some practice on figuring out which way you like to hold the filter, and it really depends on the time of day and what you’re shooting. Give it a try and have fun!

More DIY Projects from the BLDG 25 Blog. 

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9 years ago

Very cool. I actually inherited a few prism lenses from my grandfather, but making one seems so fun!

9 years ago

I adore your photo tutorials. keep ’em coming!

9 years ago

I love this kind of tutorials too, I would have never thought that with a pair of 3D glasses you could create this amazing effect with your camera :)

xx Cecil //

9 years ago

I’m sorry, the photos are lovely (absolutely cool effect to achieve in such a simple way) but since that’s what the world looks like to me when I take off my glasses, I have trouble appreciating them. i.e. my brain thinks it’s time to have a vision headache now :P

On the other hand, the moon picture is awesome. I feel like I need a poster of that one.

9 years ago

This is so clever! Love it!


9 years ago

Dude this is trippy. Really interesting idea, thanks for the post :)

9 years ago

great tip!

9 years ago
9 years ago

Really cool!!
Sure that I’m going to try this!

8 years ago

I tried this but it didn’t work for me…. Maybe i need to try a different pair of glasses?

8 years ago

this is the greatest idea!! I will definitely be trying this. LOVE your pictures with the effect as well

8 years ago

I love this! I can`t wait to try it!

5 years ago

Amazing work, i’ll try this for sure! :)