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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Twenty Six : Using reflections to transform reality > Reflection in water (5): Vanishing Point, Bruges, Belgium, 2005
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Reflection in water (5): Vanishing Point, Bruges, Belgium, 2005

This image challenges the viewer’s imagination to wonder where reality ends and reflection begins? I used spot metering to expose this image for the sun-splashed hull, allowing the heavily shadowed prow area at right to go dark. It’s that area where the vanishing point effect takes over. The actual edge of the prow becomes increasingly faint as it drops towards the water. It then vanishes altogether, only to re-emerge as faint reflection. Meanwhile, the sun-struck portion of the hull becomes a golden pool of swirling reflectivity, a perfect counterpoint to the vanishing prow. (This image was inspired by one of my favorite photo's on pbase, Zandra Titso's "Calm." ( ) Zandra does in black and white what I am have tried to do here in color.)

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Phil Douglis31-Jul-2005 06:44
I agree -- color is essential here, Likyin. That golden orange line is a powerful contrast to the wavering silver line in the water, as you point out. If elegance is the essence of this image, it is the beauty of the color that makes it so.
Guest 31-Jul-2005 06:32
After a small exercise, I have to say, the color of this image is essential to make it brilliant. Especially golden orange line, it is an amazing counterpart of the elegant silver string in the dark, while reflected.

It is itself a wonderful combination evolving from gorgeous and complex into achromatic and simple, elegant.
Phil Douglis05-Jul-2005 17:20
Thanks, Zandra, for coming to this image, which as I mentioned in my caption, was inspired by one of your own photographs. Yes, I saw the boat floating on oil paints as well, and I also saw the value of the mysterious segment between the edge of the prow of the hull and the reflected edge. You see that darkness as threatening because of the degree of contrast between the light and dark areas. I see it as a measure of the unknown, a quiet and unknowable place where reflection and reality join in obscurity. And that is exactly what I felt the point was in your own image of a similar subject. Your picture made us want to touch the water to see where your boat ended and your water began. This image, too, is about imaginative exploration -- I am urging you to enter the image and explore that mystery for yourself. Thanks again, Zandra, both for inspiring me in the first place, and for talking of the contradictions and tensions you find in this image.
Guest 05-Jul-2005 10:23
Thank you for mentioning me in your note Phil. Indeed this uses both abstractionas well as refelction to challange the imagination of the viewer. The riples of the surface makes part of it look like an oilpanting, or as if teh boat itself is floating on this paint rahter then on water. Ther is also the contridiction of light and dark, beauty and mystery. One wants to explore more but might be afraid to do so as the dark side seem quite thretening in contrast to the sun lit part.
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