Mirror Images

In my first blog of this year I started to look at mirror images.

Just in case it’s not clear what I mean it’s when I take an original image and then taking only half of that image flip it over to provide a symmetrical image by joining the two halves.

So why should we do this?

there are a number of reasons and I’m planning to have a look at some of them in posts to come.

Some reasons are aesthetic and some are technical.

One more thing is that this is a technique that refines as time goes by and results in a whole range of unique images.

I came upon this idea quite by chance in my pre digital days. Clearly though it’s possible to print images like this mostly it depends on digital manipulation.

Here’s how it started for me.

It was in the 1970s and I was staying in Munich, one of Germany’s finest cities. I decided to try to get a view over the Olympic park by climbing to the top of the Olympic tower at night.

It was cold and windy and I just hoped my tripod – a Slick 88 – was sturdy enough for the job. At the time I was using a Konica Autoreflex with a 70-150 mm Tamron zoom lens with separate zoom and focus rings.

Looking over the parapet I saw the illuminated building of the BMW works, one of the landmarks of Munich, with its tower built like the cylinders of a car engine.

I took several shots and then decided to try some in camera long exposure zoom shots.

I’m assuming many photographers will understand this technique but in a nutshell what happens is that you zoom the lens from wide to tele or tel to wide at the same time as giving a long exposure. This technique is easier with a two ring zoom as there’s less chance of shifting the focus.

Anyway I was pleased with some of my images and decided to work on this technique.

The day came when I decided to make the move to digital imaging – originally by scanning my films.

I bought a Minolta scanner and suddenly I found I was able to manipulate my images in ways that were impossible before.

Here’s one of the resultant images.

Olymic Zoom

What had started out as a record shot of a cityscape at night became an abstract image.

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Stock photography by John Rocha at Alamy

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