Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Monday May 29 2006

Like many a photographer I am fond of reflections.  Consider only my most recent previous photo here.

And although it’s not my point here, I think I see more and more reflections in TV adverts, especially for cars – because more and more people are now photographers and have started to really notice reflections? Remember, there are a billion monkeys.  That’s a lot of monkeys, and in the evening they watch their tellies.

Modern urban life, certainly modern London life, is now full of reflections, because modern architects like to use reflecting glass a lot, presumably because if the light just pours into a building without being reflected, the people inside get microwaved.

Non photographers, human beings, tend to edit out reflections.  They look for the solid shape of things, not the light that is bouncing around everywhere.  The light is just the raw material for the brain anaylsis.  But the camera registers the light and just presents it back in a rectangle.

But there are some reflections that are just so huge and obvious that the non-photographic eye cannot ignore them even if it wanted to.  Such as this one:

image

This is a view of a new building that I regularly have from Lower Marsh, just south of Waterloo Station, which contains my favourite second hand classical CD shop.  I’m looking east, along the south bank of the river, towards Tower Bridge etc.

There are several reasons why the eye is confused.  First, only the top lump of the building has reflecting glass on it.  So, the reflection on the top bit doesn’t fit the non-reflecting state of things below.  Second, what is reflected is itself a big block, off stage left somewhere.  Which results in the reflection looking like it might perhaps be part of the building itself, for example some kind of inside view of the far side wall.  All very peculiar.

I fear that the actual sight is a deal more remarkable than this mere photo.  Buit that is actually my point. Usually reflection photos are more striking than the scene itself, because in the scene itself you don’t see the reflection, even though it’s there.

The red cranes behind, by the way, are, I believe, working away on constructing this.