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!

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.

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

- Andrew Ordway



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.

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.

I tried several iPhone Apps, but none really worked well for this. I brought the image into, 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



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.

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

- Long Hong



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

Kaleidoscope was made in Photoshop.

- Mike Brown



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

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.