Reflections, Ottawa ON

This one, at least, is clearer about its subject matter. Buildings: in the flesh and in the looking glass.

I find it interesting that the scene is more compelling in reflection than when I turn around to look at it directly. Maybe something about the foreshortening of the distances between the buildings.

Three office buildings of different sizes and colours reflected in a fourth

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8 Responses to Reflections, Ottawa ON

  1. Marjorie M. Gibson says:

    Isabel – What is your objective in posts such as this ? I am confused. Are you trying to determine the artistic difference between an actual front-on picture, and a reflection of the same object? After twigging to the fact that this is a reflection, I look more closely and recognize the things which should have alerted me to this – but which on a casual look I missed.
    My next reaction is to say why? What am I missing?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Mom – I guess my objective in all my photo blogs is to post a picture that I like for some reason: it’s pretty, or it’s interesting, or it illustrates something I’m trying to learn in my photography (like with the set of alligator photos, how much zoom is “just right”). I posted this one just because I liked it, but I also wonder why it’s more appealing to my eye than the actual buildings. So, in a way, I’m having a conversation with myself about my photography, hoping that others will chime in.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    Nice to see this straightforward, objective interchange between a mother and her daughter. My objective critic is my wife, Janice. For example, she checks my weekly “The View From Grandpa Tom’s Balcony” before it goes out. Sometimes she’ll say, “You really want to say that?”

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Well, I sniffed a bit, first . . . Not! The source of any criticism (or even questioning, as in this case) has to be safe, I guess.

  3. When one of my FB posts gets zero Likes, I would prefer criticism! But the void just makes me sad. I know only a small percentage of viewers actually ever post or click Like, but still… What I had posted amused me, or shocked me, or touched me, or whatever. We posters reveal something each time about ourselves: not an easy thing for Canadians to do. So, Commenter, reveal something about you and let’s get past the polite “adult” small talk. For many of us, there just isn’t that much time to not be real, to each other and to ourselves.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Yes, I know what you mean. Sending things out into the black beyond is lonely.

  4. The glass reflection slightly distorts what the eye beholds more clearly gazing at the original objects. The two halves of the brain are already trained to compare differences between the perceptions of the left and right eyes. As each half of the brain compares the two very similar, but different, images, the rational left-brain tries to examine those differences for potentially life-threatening changes in the environment. That there are differences at all keeps the rational brain looking for further differences and for explanations for those differences. Pretty much all science and most other forms of knowledge arise from those sorts of comparisons between differing sets of sensory data. Among those who contemplate reality to make a record of it, some artists are motivated to imitate the reflections to draw attention to those difference, as your photograph does; some artists are drawn to replicate the originals. And many do both. The subtlety of the differences, as your mother noticed only on further inspection, is part of what makes this photograph a delight to the appreciative viewer. I also find meaning in the way the grid of the window frames in the most recent, mirroring wall imposes its net on the architecture of previous generations of designers, whether as tribute or as prison remains in the eye and judgment of the beholder. By capturing that ambivalence you have made an arresting work of art.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Thanks you for the compliment and for the thoughtful analysis. I love reflections, but will never look at them in quite the same way again!

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