Thursday, October 01, 2009


click photo to enlarge
I like a good, confusing, photographic illusion. I don't mean the staged sort that shows a man holding the Great Pyramid above his head, or a small (but actually distant) person apparently diving into someone's mouth. No, I mean those "found" images that either show something that looks to be one thing, but is in fact another, or those that confuse us to the point where we can't understand what it is that we are looking at.

I've taken a few examples of this kind of photograph in the past including a fire escape staircase, a giant mirror ball, a theatre's sign, a reflection in a well, a piece of bark, and a bicycle stand. The other day, in Peterborough, I took another one. As I was passing a heavily glazed office block that I've photographed before, I was taken by the reflection of the sky and clouds in the tinted glass of the walls/windows. Approaching the building it appeared as if the clouds were floating from above my head into and out of the walls of glass. So I pointed my camera upwards and tried to capture this illusion. I had to wait a short time until the actual and the reflected clouds seemed to be making the transition, then I pressed my shutter. What I hadn't banked on was that the final image, at first glance, when it appeared on my computer screen, would look like the perfectly still water of an inviting swimming pool into which - if it really existed - I'd be tempted to jump.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.2
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -0.66 EV
Image Stabilisation: On