Hong Kong Reflections

By: Gustav Hoiland

Apr 13 2010

Category: china

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Focal Length:18mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

On and Beyond the Glass

My first question is, does this image have that innate instant attraction? The “whoa gimme a second to look at this more?” I’m not so sure. After looking at it for a while I think so, but when flying through thumbnails in Bridge this image has never really popped out at me. Is it the visual complexity that robs it of that impact, perhaps more powerfully felt when there are just a couple simple elements to see? Eh.

I think my favorite aspect of the image is the rampant scale change. We have a person walking in the reflection on the left, giant sized compared to the man waiting for the elevator. Even smaller is the person approaching the van, further back on the left.

So this is mostly caused by the reflectory (not a real word apparently) nature of the image. Not only are we seeing forward, but we are seeing behind the photographer at the same time. See the red car (taxi) on the right (not reflected/seen through the building)? It’s about the same size as the van on the left, yet that van is behind us. Behind us as far as the taxi is in front of us. To take reflections even further, the shiny stone floor of the lobby below is reflecting too.

So we have transparencies, clouded realities, fleeting reflections, etc… Where there is darkness behind the glass, sharp images are seen (see top center). Where there’s a gray behind the glass, we get a double image (woman walking, overlaid on the metal column). Where there is ample light behind the glass, the reflection is all but lost (lobby). Except for the photographer’s legs. Bottom right, just to the left of the black figure. Yep. That’s me. Follow’em up to see my backpack and water bottle. Perhaps that round nub in the top right is my head, though it looks to possibly be a tree.

Ahhh, Hong Kong.

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