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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Twenty Six : Using reflections to transform reality > Rain, Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China, 2007
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Rain, Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China, 2007

A rainy day makes photography difficult at best, but it brings unique opportunity as well. Wet pavement can reflect and abstract surrounding subjects, as in this image of one of China’s most famous buildings, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests – the centerpiece of the Temple of Heaven complex. Earlier, I had been photographing reflections on smooth pavement, which reflected but did not abstract the subject. When I moved to older, rougher pavement, the reflected building lost its shape and form, but retained its color and energy. The golden panels on its maroon walls become ever more abstract as they flow from bottom to top, while tourists carrying pink umbrellas shimmer at upper right.

Leica V-Lux 1
1/80s f/3.6 at 25.3mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
Phil Douglis13-Dec-2007 06:29
I am so glad you made the connection between princely ritual and golden shimmers, Jenene. That is very much what I had in mind here as I dodged the raindrops to make this image. People always curse the rain when it comes to photography, but it brings its blessings to those willing to endure the moisture.
JSWaters13-Dec-2007 05:02
The lustrous and shimmery gold is appropriate symbolism for a Hall of Prayer reflection. The uneven paving stones give this a rustic, patchwork quilt quality. It's very beautiful and does exude a regal energy.
Phil Douglis19-Nov-2007 19:12
Glad to help, Mo. Looking for meaning in reflections is an entirely new way of seeing. Much depends on the textures in the water and the surface characteristics surrounding the water.
monique jansen19-Nov-2007 12:40
I love shooting reflections, it took you to point me to them, but now I keep an eye out for them at all times!
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