Inward with the Droste Spiral

Andriyko Podilnyk on



Inward with the Droste Spiral



The photo above by Andriyko Podilnyk looks up a fancy stairwell. I always thought there was a mirror complicating it. My inattention. But it called out for a Droste filter. The world-within-a-world spiral first made famous in 1900 on the Droste Cocoa package shows a nurse and tray with a Droste Cocoa Box, showing a nurse and tray and cocoa box, depicting nurse, tray, cocoa. Spiraling we suppose infinitely inward.



You can see how the spiral twists with different numbers in the equation.

I found I had a Droste filter in my Filter Forge files. This software has been around a long long time. It lets you download other people’s filters and also to have a go at making your own. Years ago they offered a lifetime subscription. I jumped at it and have enjoyed using it ever since. It offers endless possibilities, especially when you realize you can run a second filter over the one you’ve just finished. One drawback — used inside of Photoshop it’s slow.


I’m including a second set, using the much artier photo by Michael Dziedzic. You can see in the last image just how gorgeous these distortions can become.

Filter Forge is currently advertising 6400 filters to paw through — turn your image to stone or linen, add bumps or swirls, or conjure up some eyeballs. Check them out for making images more than before.