Wednesday, April 13, 2011

EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER'S FANTASY: A THREESOME WITH TWIN IMAGES OF BEAUTY

Imagine it is early morning and you're at a beautiful lake, the sweet smell of wild flowers in the air. You hear the sound of the water lapping at the shore and the birds singing. You're gazing at twin beauties in naked splendor that spread out before you: one laying on top of the other. The one on top seemingly rock hard, the one on the bottom undulating softly. Would that not be every photographer's fantasy? It is what I experienced one morning a few years ago in Banff, Canada. We were at Bow Lake in early morning, the only humans to be seen or heard. In front of us stood this sight: an almost perfect


reflection of Bow Mountain in early morning light. Should I give you all a minute to compose yourselves?? You knew this is what I was referring to, didn't you?

Our topic today is REFLECTIONS and why photographers and non photographers are fascinated by them. Whenever I post images and one is a reflection, that is the one that will always get the most positive comments. Scientifically, this type of reflection of light is called specular (mirror-like).
Reflections are in themselves symmetrical.  One of the meanings of symmetry is;  an imprecise sense of harmonious or aesthetically pleasing, proportionately and balance such that it reflects beauty or perfection.

So maybe that is why people are fascinated by images of reflections: all that scientific reasoning or maybe there are other less scientific possibilities. Is it possible that when we see a beautiful mountain range like above that seeing it in duplicate gives us twice the pleasure? Our brain sees a scene that it recognizes as aesthetically perfect and then sees it in duplicate. Everything is naturally symmetrical: a vision of perfection. Would our brain not find that pleasing? Maybe even more pleasing than seeing the same image without the perfect reflection. Is it possible? I think it could be.


I wonder if it could also be related to our imagination and how we enjoy the manipulation of imagery. Our brain knows the reflection is not real, in that there is not another mountain range or heron, actually there, but we do  apparently see it. Is it the same 'thrill' we see in 3D movies? We know that the rocket is not really going to hit us but we enjoy seeing it and might even duck out of the way. We enjoy tricking our mind in the same way when we are taking a drink of alcohol. Our perception is thrown off, our reality is all of a sudden turned upside down. We see two of something but at another time of day, it will not be there and we know it. The fact that we can document it with our camera adds to that fascination. We can see our mind's trick whenever we want to and we are part of the magic


So is it just that the symmetry of the lines are perfect? Is it the enjoyment of seeing what is not really there? It does not always need to be an exact duplicate. Here the moon light is reflected along with the colors of the sky onto the ocean. 

What do I think?? I really do not know but I like to think it is us enjoying the manipulation of the imagery in our brain: knowing we have control over choosing to see what is arguably not really there. Letting our imagination have the right of way, seeing as a child might see and not questioning it. I would like to think so! Almost like a dream, they're not real either but they seem to be. I love to dream both when awake and when I am sleeping. In the past I was damned with the label dreamer. I have always had dreams and the ones that I experience when awake have helped shape my life. So I'll continue to believe in dreams, reflections and rainbows.

Did you know rainbows are really reflections? They are caused by the sun reflecting off of water droplets. So maybe it's the artist, dreamer or the child in me. I'll continue believing that we enjoy the romanticism of tricking of our mind, with that fantasy, that is a reflection!

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.










14 comments:

Ann said...

I will admit I love reflection photos! These are stunning!

Aaron said...

As always great post.

I agree completetly that it is the symmetry that our eyes and brain find pleasing about the reflections.

In addition, it is something that is difficult to get an amazing image with a good reflection. So when people see the great reflection images there is a respect given to the photographer for the image.

I love trying getting reflections in my shots, but the lighting is so finicky to get the ones.

I love your shots in the post they are truly inspiring. Your blog continually inspires me to keep me going out practicing :)

Tameka said...

You had me going in the beginning Jim! I like the sensual play on words. :-)

As always, your photography is stunning. I loved what you had to say about reflections and symmetry also. Very beautiful and enlightening. Thanks!

Mitzi said...

I love "reflections" of course, when you consider my blog & book title, I'm sure that comes as no surprise to you. For me, Reflections of images on the water go far beyond symmetry or mirrored illusion. They allow us to look at things in an abstract manner and thus somehow transcends the focal point of the image forcing us to view it from a totally different perspective. Yes, I am a deep thinker...maybe it is simply because they are pretty. ;-) Lovely photos...

melissa said...

i was contemplating your photos for more than an hour now and it never tires me to look at them over and over again...

yes, the reflection photos are the best...

now i remember what my spiritual director told me about seeing past the illusion and start looking at what's real... :P

i do believe in the lovers and dreamers... the rainbow connection and all...the symmetry and balance they create... the colors... the calm they bring to my soul as i look at them... and stay with them...

yes, they do give me "twice" the satisfaction :)...

belle belle foto jim...:)grazie!

Alfandi said...

excellent photos...I believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder...what makes a good picture great is applying the rule of two thirds, somehow the brain will perceive that everything is in the right place...we owe this to Leonardo Da Vinci's effort, I guess...well, my 2 cents worth..nice going, Jim..

Wellbeing said...

These photos are so beautiful that I don't have to comment, because even breath stops for a moment. Jim, really great, you have to love this :) Good luck!

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

I love photos with reflections! Twice the beauty and impact for the viewer. Thank you for the explanation also.

sweepyjean said...

Interesting theories on why. I must admit, I am drawn to them and these must be some of the best I've seen. Simply stunning!

alejandro guzman said...

I came here to see twins in a threesome but instead got a beautifully written and captured post.

Loved it
A

Dream on

Jorie Pacli said...

Those photos are jaw-dropping and wickedly brilliant.... Amazing Jim! And your surprises never seem to end.... Thanks for sharing as always...:)

John said...

Beautiful photos, quite amazing.

Rimly said...

Jim I loved the pictures. Mirror images, reflections. They are beautiful.

Rimly said...

Jim I loved the pictures. Mirror images, reflections. They are beautiful.I loved the sensuous way you talked about Bow Mountain, loved the play on words.