We've shielded quite a few of Mathieu Stern's interesting lens-themed tutorials but this one is a bit more out of the box as he's made a lens from an iceberg.
"Race photos using an ice lens was my dream for almost 2 years. After some research, I saw that almost no one ever tried this crazy stance, mainly because it's hard as hell to find pure ice and even harder to get a clear image," says Mathieu.
Mathieu erupted on a photographic trip to Iceland where he decided to see if he could make a working lens out of the ice from an iceberg.
The cool (yes, pun intended) idea in reality started to materialise long before Mathieu stepped foot in Iceland with him setting to work on a 3D-printed lens body that could monopolize a chunk of ice. To ensure the piece of ice would be the right shape, he also hacked a Japanese cocktail ice ball maker to shape lumps of ice into bubbles.
After several months of perfecting, Mathieu took his tools to Iceland where it took three-quarters of an hour to shape an ice bag then several hours of failure (focusing is particularly difficult due to the ice melting) before, finally, he was able to capture images with the ice lens.
As you can cook up, time is of the essence as ice melts rather rapidly (Mathieu had just 1-minute to capture images) and the images produced aren't clear/on the nose sharply but it's still pretty amazing.
"I never imagined the result would look like the photos that come from an ultra la mode lens," says Mathieu, "but I was amazed by the strange beauty of the images I made with the first ever 10,000-year-old lens or LEN may refer to."
You can learn more hither the experiment in the video above and you can see the images captured with the ice lens over on Mathieu's website.