Image of hologram


This is a place where I can share my hobby of making holograms. I started wanting to make holograms when I moved to San Francisco in 1984. I started reading about it and contacted Sharon McCormick of the San Francisco School of Holography. I was working as an image processing programmer and was interested in making computer generated holograms. LCDs were just becoming usable. The realities of making money in the big city kept me from pursuing holography at that time but it sparked an interest that never stopped.

I lived pretty close to the now defunct Holography Gallery in Haight-Ashbury. I went there a few times and was stunned by the magic of holography. I am still fascinated with Lloyd Cross' "Kiss II" multiplexed hologram of Pam Braiser blowing a kiss. The first time I was there I spent more than an hour studying each image.

In 1986 I was working at the Lawrence Hall of Science and I found The Handbook of Holography in the book store. This book is the most enthusiastic holography book I ever read and it not only re-kindled my interest in holography but gave me some simple tools to think about. I still did not have the money for a laser however. While working there I met a man named Pim. He knew all of the principals of San Francisco holography and he was kind enough to spend considerable time talking with me about the realities of holography.

I kept buying books and reading about holography but I had moved from San Francisco and was working as a luthier. A luthier makes and repairs string instruments. It is a highly technical job requiring fine hand skills. It took me some time to learn how to work with my hands as this was not natural to me. Luthiers don't make a lot of money so I did not do much with holography.

In designing the guitars I made, I spent a considerable amount of time studying musical acoustics. Some of the most enlightening images I found were made by Hans Bjelken and Erik Jannson. This was my first exposure to holographic interferometry. I read everything I could find by Hans Bjelken and Erik Jannson. I contacted him by mail a few times and he was very nice and answered my questions.

In 1994 I picked up the Holography Handbook and re-read it. It again infected me with it's unbridled enthusiasm for holography. I decided to buy a telescope that could be a collimating mirror when I had the money to buy a laser. I bought a 10.1 inch dobsonian telescope from Coltour Optical. I spent a couple of winters learning the night sky.

Due to the situation of my personal life I ended up not having any work space for the next 5 years. This put the guitars I made with my signature and my dream of holography on hold. I was still looking into making a set up so I could analyze the guitars I was making and Don Bradley suggested I make some double exposure holograms with a laser diode. Don had the space and the electronics skills to undertake this kind of project. I did some research and was told by "the experts" that no holograms could be made with a diode laser because the coherence length was too low. I took their word for it and stopped the project.

In 1999 I decided to swap lutherie for a mechanical design job that doubled my pay. I had been designing tools for lutherie for more than 10 years so while I did not have very much experience, I was able to learn the skills very quickly and this is still my day job today.

In January 2001 I had just finished building a new shop and had some extra room. I decided this would be a good time to build a holography table and finally start making holograms. I had been spending my evenings for the previous 8 years as a set and lighting designer and was building my skills as an artist. Making guitars is very challenging but it does not have the range of artistic design concepts available to the theater.

I ran in to Frank De Freitas' web site and was shocked to find laser diodes could indeed make holograms. This was the last straw and I started buying laser diodes and making holograms. The community of holographers has been extremely generous with their time. I won't list all of the people who have helped because I am afraid I might forget someone. I would not be where I am today without their extremely generous assistance. Hopefully this page will return some good information to the net.

From the navigation bar at the left you can see the studio I am using today. If you have any questions please contact me at

For more holography related information try the Holography Forum at:

Holography Forum 

There are many parts to making a hologram and each one must be designed and executed well if you are going to make bright holograms. I have not always made the best choices but here are some pictures of my components and further information.

Thank you for taking the tour of my bench,

Colin Kaminski

Please free to contact me at:
Copyright 2002 Colin Kaminski