When Light Collides with Lens Imperfections, Luminescent Magic Happens

Artist Shane Griffin explores the physics of light and optical effects in colorful macro photographs.
December 4, 2016, 1:15pm
All images courtesy the artist

Like electrons colliding with the Earth's atmosphere during the Aurora Borealis, the light spectrum explodes when it strikes a glass surface in the photographs of Shane Griffin. Neon hues create dazzling displays in these spectacular bursts of light and color. Griffin, a New York-based artist, works at the intersection of art and technology, experimenting with new mediums to create his work. His new Chromatic series is essentially an artistic physics experiment involving macro perspective and lens aberrations.

Inspired by the chroma shift caused by cheap lenses in a new pair of glasses, Griffin decided to start experimenting with light to understand what sort of surfaces bend the light in a certain way. “It's a case of immersing yourself in the concept and creating as much imagery as possible, before deciding on the images that really evoke a certain type of feeling,” Griffin tells The Creators Project.


The Chromatic series explores the after-effects of light passing through glass, with colors converging at different points. The split of the color spectrum directly depends on the defectiveness of the glass. The vibrant works aren’t dichroic or iridescent, they are optical illusions caused by refraction. “I wanted to examine what happens with this shift of color on a macro level, and how the spectrum shifts on,” Griffin adds. Check out more of his results below:

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To check out more of Shane Griffin’s work, check out his Instagram.


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