Reflection can mean a lot of things. It can refer to remembering one’s past, checking the rear view mirrors of a car or the image people see while they brush their teeth every morning. Reflection can also mean illusion.
My photo is rather abstract, but I accomplished illusion through the use of reflections. Someone looking at this photo for the first time may struggle to figure out what’s going on, and I like it like that. Photography is an art that should make people think.
This photo, although hard to make out initially, includes three glasses of water placed against a vertically-striped backdrop. There is a reflection in how the stripes hit the water, how the water hits the glass and how the cups hit one another from various angles.
I chose to include three glasses to honor the rule of odds as well as to show how three different levels of water create a different illusion. The glass in the greatest focus has the least amount of water, as I wanted to capture how neat the water looks at the rim. The glass furthest away has a little more water than the one in the front and the glass in the center is almost filled to the brim. Each glass is also angled slightly differently than the one it’s next to, assisting how different the stripes look in each of them. The water transforms the vertical stripes to look like zebra stripes, and scientists say no zebra has the same pattern.
In such a simple photo setup, I am fascinated by how the colors turned out in the photo. The vertical backdrop, which, by the way, is actually just a striped dress from the back of my closet that I swore my mom I would “use” some day, seems black and white.
When the stripes are warped in the water, however, the color bleeds through the reflection, revealing the stripes are actually blue. The hints of yellow on the lines are likely a reflection of something on the other side of the frame, possibly even my arms all cockamamie trying to find the angle for this shot.
Water is commonly associated with the word “reflection.” The well-known scene from Disney’s Mulan, for example, portrays a young girl wondering “when will my reflection show who I am inside?” while she looks into her reflection in the lake. Water has the ability to create beautiful reflections of the trees and skies or to create an illusion of movement as the wind causes ripples. Some reflections are like looking into a mirror in the morning: the image is a exact. Other reflections, however, are a warped reality.
What does reflection mean to you? Let us know in the comments below.