Laser Photography






I think I’ve stumbled across a new, geeky hobby. Late last night I set up one of those scrapped lasers and started pumping the beam into different stuff just to see what it would look like. The lasers are low power 633nm HeNe which produces a beautiful ruby red light. I’m fascinated by this color for some reason. Dunno why. Anyway, some of the things I messed around with were a precision ground glass lens, a diffraction grating, bottles of various colored dish soap, a soft white lightbulb, and a salt shaker. The more interesting stuff I took pictures of with my digital camera. Low light photography like this is tough but I think I’m going to do a lot more of it in coming weeks because it’s so much fun.

Diffraction gratings split a laser into multiple beams. Depending on which angle and side I shot the laser into it produced varying amounts of beams. It also changed the shape. Instead of a tight dot some of them came out and hit the walls more flat like a line. It was cool to have 20-30 bright red dots all over the ceiling and walls. Made me wish I’d had some dry ice or a smoke machine. Probably see individual beams shooting all over the place.

Yellow dish soap reacted nicely. I also tried green and purple dish soap, but it didn’t do a fuckin’ thing when I put the laser to it. Yellow gave off a bright glow which made the beam very visible inside the bottle.

I was drinking a rum and coke while being a mad household scientist so I had to take a shot or two of that…


~ by factorypeasant on July 26, 2006.

3 Responses to “Laser Photography”

  1. I like the first pic….soap bottle looks kewl

  2. hey thanks. nice avatar there… made me laff.

  3. Heard we are using lasers and microwaves to cook iraqies now. Bad stuff.


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