Thursday, 26 January 2012

Seeing is not Believing in Photography

Often, perspective, angles, optical illusions, and lighting might transform a mundane object into something unique, something totally different! Shooting a tall object from its base might help to exaggerate its height, while photographing an object from above might make the object seem shorter, smaller than it really is! Sometimes, it is a natural phenomenon which creates an illusion. The colours of the rainbow are the result of the refraction of light while passing through drops of rain. In the same way, the setting or rising sun looks larger than it really is, because of two reasons, firstly it is seen relative to objects close to the Horizon, like trees, poles, buildings…etc, which are absent when the Sun reaches the Zenith. The second reason is refraction or bending of light. The atmosphere acts as a lens, and it magnifies the image of the sun. It is for this reason that the Moon in the snaps below seems to be squashed, perhaps because of a wide difference in the temperature in the air. Light passing from cold air to hot air tends to get refracted as when light travelling from above gets refracted when it passes through water.




It is not that the size of the rising sun increases or diminishes, rather it is an optical illusion caused by the heated atmosphere acting as a magnifying lens, a convex lens, and the fact that the close by objects relative to the sun seem to highlight/exaggerated its size! Blame it on relativity!
Lighting thus plays, perhaps, the most important role in photography! I noticed some condensation drops hanging from the roof of my bathroom. In normal lighting, they looked rather unique, hanging from the roof, but not falling down! The use of a flashlight however transformed the whole ceiling into a night sky with clusters of stars surrounding a giant star!


And this is what the ceiling looked without the flashlight!
The use of torch, resulted in yet another transformation of a common, rather mundane sight:
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