Create Psychedelic Photos with a Teleidoscope

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Is real life bumming you out? Does everything around you seem too random and organic?

Then go on a teleidoscope trip and bring back some pictures!

Using a cheap kids’ teleidoscope (a type of kaleidoscope that turns whatever you look at into a pattern) and a camera, you can enter a mind-bending geometric dreamscape and have the photos to prove it.

Now that otherwise regular ‘ol photo is a limitless sea of hexagons and triangles!

Create Psychedelic Photos with a Teleidoscope

p.s. Heard of our pals Artsy Couture? They print and mount your snaps onto beautiful solid wood blocks called Gallery Blocks. We think you might like ’em!

Why It’s Cool:

Pretty much everything looks cool through the end of a teleidoscope whether it’s your tv, your dog’s face, the pattern on your shirt or the words in a book, and having photos of all your unique fractal creations is endlessly fun.

Everyone, especially a photographer, should own a teleidoscope, you can find them at most toy stores or just do a quick search online on Amazon or eBay.

What You’ll Need:


  • a teleidoscope
  • a cell phone camera or point & shoot
  • something interesting to look at
  • that’s about it!

STEP 1: Get a Teleidoscope

beforeTeleidoscopes can range from hundreds of dollars to just a few bucks but since we want to do this on the cheap stop by your neighborhood dollar store or toy store and see what they have.

The most common teleidoscope is a cardboard tube about 8″ long with a glass marble at the end. For this demonstration we’re using an antique model made of wood and brass simply because we have one and it looks cool.

STEP 2: Choose Your Camera

before Your best option here is a small lens with a relatively wide angle, which is exactly what most cell phone, smart phone and point & shoot cameras are packing.

Plus, anything bigger and you’d have trouble holding the camera and teleidoscope.

STEP 3: Line ’em Up!

beforeUsing whatever method is most comfortable, hold the teleidoscope against your camera so you’re shooting down the tube. In your viewfinder you should see some sweet things start happening.

STEP 4: Fire Away!

before Carefully rotate the tube this way and that to change it up and everyday objects melt and spin! The plausibilities are endless!

Viewing lights creates awesome patterns as well as plants, faces and fabric.

Taking It Further

  • Try printing your fractal images on transparency paper to make sweet window art or lampshades.
  • Use a disposable camera to create some mysterious surprise shots and confuse the guy at the photomat.
  • Print a pattern out on cardboard, cut it up and make postcard sized puzzles to give away as gifts or distract the guards while you make your getaway.
  • Put the camera down and just spend half an hour staring through the teleidoscope. It’ll always make your day better.