Photos are great. But you know what's better than photos? Kaleidoscopes—the LSD of second graders everywhere. Here are 7 fantastic kaleidoscopic images, made by you.

Each begins with the original photo, followed by the edited version (in case that wasn't clear!).


Winner: Patio Party

My patio at night has lots of contrast with the lights. The cool LED's and warm incandescents together bring out many colors you wouldn't expect for a night shot. No need for a tripod!

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Shot with Canon 5D; exposure1/15sec; aperture 4/1

- Pete Axcell


Cactus Ball

I thought having some colors pop against the always-blue Arizona sky would be a great contrast. I found an interesting cactus and shot it against the blue sky. I used Pixelmator's kaleidoscope effect and adjusted the settings until I had what looked like some sort of spiny flower floating in midair.

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Samsung NX2000, 22mm lens, f/6.3, 1/320 sec

- Andrew Ordway


Pond

I use a reasonably low tech camera setup, a 5 Mpx smartphone camera with an Android program called CameraMX. This lets me take a live kaleidoscope shot as I take the photo, with the only adjustment being the degree of reflection. I went to a local nature reserve and took a photo of some trees and a rock lined creek. The original is a typical Australian bush scene, slightly off horizontal. The kaleidoscope image recombines the leaves and tree branches in the foreground and background, and the water reflections create a snowflake like effect. The initial impression of a typical kaleidoscope pattern reveals itself to be a recombination of natural elements.

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I started taking these type of shots a few months ago, and its taken a while to develop an eye for capturing simple scenery into far more detailed repeating kaleidoscope patterns.

- Erik Petersen


Road Block

The base image was captured with an iPhone 5S set to AutoHDR. I wanted to start with an image that had plenty of color and contrast.

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I tried several iPhone Apps, but none really worked well for this. I brought the image into Paint.net, and made some minor contrast adjustments, and then inverted the colors. I then used a Kaleidoscope plugin, and tried to get the kaleidoscope effect, while still having something recognizable from the base image, and I liked the way the top of the barrel came through in the submitted image.

- Jonas Demuro


Waterfall

This kaleidoscopic image was created from a picture of falling water at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, and I used the parts of the image with the water and moss.

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Canon T4i - 50mm - f/2.0 - ISO 800 - 1/3200 sec

- Long Hong


Farm

Source image was taken yesterday near sunset, an aerial photograph of farm fields and trees around Trumansburg, NY, along Cayuga Lake.

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Kaleidoscope was made in Photoshop.

- Mike Brown


Peonis

Our peonies got pounded by a recent rainstorm, but they still make interesting subjects for this challenge.

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Taken with an iPod Touch and modified with the Kaleidomatic app. Moved over to the iMac with PhotoSync and then imported into Lightroom for a slight crop and renaming.

- Peter Haas


Some great stuff here! I wonder if someone will just make an Oculus Rift app that turns your POV into a kaleidoscope. And then I wonder what the world record for living in the confines of such an app will be. I think I'd last 10 minutes, but it would be a great 10 minutes. Find the big shots on flickr.