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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Twenty Six : Using reflections to transform reality > Bending the past, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2006
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Bending the past, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2006

By reflecting the ornate Joseph Smith Office Building in the windows of a contemporary structure just across the street, the past seems to morph into both the present and future.
I tilted the camera to create the repeating diagonal lines of the window frames, adding considerable energy to this image.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
1/200s f/5.6 at 88.8mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
Phil Douglis30-Sep-2007 18:28
Thanks, dexfashe for your brief but appropriate comment. Conceptual art is art in which the idea is more important than the subject. I am delighted that you see this image in this way. In looking at some of your galleries, I see conceptual art at work as well. Thanks for coming to my site -- you are the first to comment from Kazan. I hope you will come again.
Guest 30-Sep-2007 18:01
Phil Douglis27-Apr-2007 16:57
Thanks, Zandra, for coming to this image. As you point out, this image is a powerful metaphor for a state of confusion and disorientation. When we tranform reality, confusion is often a byproduct. Transformation often causes us to lose our bearings, and become unable to discern reality from unreality. And that is essentially what I am doing in this mage. I am blurring the lines between reality and unreality in order to merge the past into the future through a very dynamic, if distoriented, present. All of which can give the imagination a wonderful workout.
Guest 27-Apr-2007 14:10
The name of this gallery...Using reflections to transform reality...That surely is what this photos does. When seeing the first smaller version, it alsmost made my head spin. The sudden distorsion in the midle...reminded me of how i feel one of those days when your head is spinning in all directions and nothing makes sence or seem to be working they way you are used the other day when i was going about doiung my job and NOTHING was working they way they used to...i felt like this picture. I had some clear moment when i thought i had a grip on things...tumbled down to total confusion and then a bit better again...but over all it was a day of confusion. Just as this picture has parts of confusing lines and more suddled lines making more sence. As you write in your note, the diagonal repetition of lines adds energy, makes it feel fast past eventhough you know it is a building, which clearly has stood it's ground for some time when judging by the architechture. A few splashes of colour add more confusion to the otherwise quite monotone picture. Overall, a good example of how reflectiosn can alter the subject..and the viewers imagination and intepritation of the subject. :-)
Phil Douglis02-Mar-2007 17:11
Thanks, Ai Li. Glad you like the tilt here. I never tilt for effect, only for meaning. And in this case, the energy created by the tilt dynamically forces the past to adjust to the present.
AL02-Mar-2007 11:25
A great distortion indeed, not only bending the past, but also the reality. The tilt is brilliant as it added interest and accentuated the "flow" of distortion, as if it's kind of water texture. Just give it a shake and let the distortion realise before your eyes :-)
Phil Douglis26-Jan-2007 23:11
You said it eloquently, Philippe. The distorted reflections are what merge past (the ornate structure) into the present (the modern facade). I am using the distorted reflections in the median part as an incongruous catalyst for change here.
pep26-Jan-2007 21:46
This is an astonishing image. It is dynamic not only because of the diagonals, but also because the reflections in the median part are distorted, their curves breaking the overall linearity. Excellent.
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