Shane Griffin Creates Colorful Abstract Photos with Defective Glass

All images by Shane Griffin. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Photographers have many ways to play and experiment with light, but this featured body of work most likely doesn’t involve the usual methods you have in mind. To create his psychedelic Chromatic sets, New York-based Shane Griffin did a simple experiment with light and glass. The results are really interesting and give a new dimension to playing with light.


Colors mostly run wild in these photos by Shane: an effect he was able to produce by making light pass through defective glass. “These explorations show the process of light transitioning through defective glass,” he writes on the set description. “As the colors fail to converge at one focus through the lens, the spectrum splits, causing beautiful emissions of hues and tones.”

While I’m not quite sure what he meant by “defective glass,” I’m also reminded of Issac Newton’s famous experiment of making light pass through a prism to split it into a spectrum of colors. Reading through the description though, I’m guessing that by glass, it could be a camera lens. I also think it’s safe to say that there’s a fair bit of science in these works of art. It’s a creative demonstration of what happens when visible light, which we mostly perceive as white, is broken apart into different colors. Each color represents a different wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Shane has done his color experiments in two ways. First, with a white background for a set simply titled Chromatic, and the other in a darker environment for Chromatic Black. While both are comprised of eye-catching abstract artworks, each has a slightly different look. The light of the first set looks like paint drips and flows about to swirl and merge. However, I find the latter to be the more striking collection, reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s famous album cover for The Dark Side of the Moon.

Don’t forget to check out Shane Griffin’s Behance portfolio to see more of Chromatic and Chromatic Black, as well as his other photography projects.