Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mirror mirror on the wall


I stayed at a fascinating hotel during my trip to New York this week. The rooms were tiny. I thought that added to the appeal of the place, and ensured that the hotel would stick in my memory long after I checked out. Think about it: how often do we travel to faraway places, only to forget where we stayed because all hotels eventually start to look and feel exactly alike?

Not so this time out. This place was designed and outfitted by architect Philippe Starck. I'd go back in a heartbeat, and recommend you do the same if you find yourself in Manhattan any time soon.

When I first arrived, I noticed mirrors on both walls of the small main room. Just as I had in the barbershop I used to go to when I was a kid, I found myself staring into the mirrors, counting the number of receding reflections and marvelling at the wonder of simple optics.

I wanted to capture it, but the bed's low relative position meant I needed to boost the position of the camera. I grabbed the garbage can and a small sculpture/stand from the floor and tried to stack them up. I learned that beds are not the most stable platforms. If you were in an adjacent room at this late hour, please accept my apologies. I finally settled on the night table, which I carefully placed on the bed before setting up the camera on its tripod.

The rules: no flash (an easy one), 3-second exposure, and a self-timer to avoid the shakes.

After shooting the camera on its own, I decided to see if I could hold myself still for three seconds. I now know why folks in antique photos were so sour-faced: the only way to keep absolutely still for that long is to not smile. Try it and let me know how it works out.

I'm breaking with tradition and posting the additional self portrait below.


Your turn: What do you think?

31 comments:

David said...

where is the hat?
other than that
the multi reflections are freaking my eyes out!
2996 - all weekend

Better Safe Than Sorry said...

wow, that is awesome, i have no idea how to do that, but the visual is just awesome!

Moogie said...

Those are a couple of cool photos. How did you do the muti-reflections? I really like that!

rashbre said...

The Hudson? by any chance? (Those mirrors)

kenju said...

I have always been fascinated by photos like this, when multiple images go on and on and on.......

The people next door must have wondered what you were up to, Carmi, stacking the tables, etc.LOL

Michele sent me.

honestyrain said...

first, next time i want to go to new york too. second, love those pohotos. awesome.

here via the you know what.

Wordnerd said...

What a fascinating shot. I remember as a child playing with mirrors and receding reflections. This shot is remarkable -- both with and without the artist!

David said...

ten Carmi's are too many !

Shephard said...

"infinitely" interesting photo. :)

Michele says hello!
~S

Leah said...

That's neat Carmi. Cool shot!
We also do this with candles, it's called light augmenting. Imagine how much light reflection you can get.

Catherine said...

I like it. Have you tried taking pictures of the inside of a kaleidoscope? Another "reflective" situation.
Back from Michele's.

jennypenny said...

Tha is a very very cool shot! I think that it is an invented and unexpected view. Great job.

Here from Michele's

scrappintwinmom said...

That's awesome! Love it - even the self portrait!

Dude - next time you're in my 'hood, we must go out and pound many beers (said in my best Jeff Spicoli voice) - here via Michele!

keda said...

wonderful. i love taking pictures of/through mirrors. and this one one the way it does indeed go to infinity if fabulous. both are :)
i'm very jealous of the camera and tripod-alien-monster-thingy.
any advice of which mid range diji camera i should buy to replace my old fuji??
as catherine said kaleidascopes make great images too.. i have a few tucked away that i took last year. beautiful.

Star said...

very artistic. The mirror in the mirror is meserizing.

Jennifer said...

How cool are those pictures!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Great visual shot! Well done on taking it.

Michele sent me.

Karen said...

That is HILARIOUS! I loved it. Honestly - the world through Carmi's eyes. So unique and whimsical. Well done!

Just stopping by to say hello. Hope you're enjoying the weekend.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Fascinating picture, Carmi...
What is the name of the hotel with the tiny rooms and the many mirrors? Trying to figure out if I know it...(lol)

srp said...

Here from Michele.

All I can say is.... "Look at all the Carmis....to infinity and beyond!"

patricia said...

Way cool.

Jennifer said...

That's a very cool picture, Carmi!!! :)

moon said...

That is SO COOL!...I love it!..Next time, smile abit will ya lol...I also like your new funky camera legs...tripod thingy.
Here from Michele's this time.

cyndy said...

Wow what fantastic visual effects!
I absolutely LOVE this

bluesphee said...

Nice photo!

Carmi said...

Hey everyone. Glad you're enjoying the mirror games.

It was taken at the New York Hudson Hotel.
http://www.hudsonhotel.com/
(If you must know, I was in room 806, but I surmise most of the other rooms look alike.)

The image is made possible by having mirrors mounted on two facing walls. The image simply reflects in on itself, creating a seemingly infinitely reflective recursion.

I had a ball taking these.

Sandy J said...

Wow! Those were great!! You have such a creative mind.

Killired said...

you're thinking... omg, i can't believe i'm doing this....

Tracie said...

I never thought about the reason why people in old pictures always had "that look" on their faces was from trying to stay still for so long....but it makes sense.

The pictures are awesome!

Sandy said...

Here's what I have learned from you today Carmi, when I travel alone I can find hours of amusement by letting my camera be my guide.

You've got such an eye for poetry in images. Thanks again for sharing that with us.

utenzi said...

I love these two pictures featuring a photograpic version of an infinite regress, Carmi. In the lower one you remind me of Sean Penn, Carmi. Mostly because you look like you're mad at the camera, I think. ;-)

That was a very neat idea you had to take the pictures and it's good design on the hotel's part to make the room look bigger. On the other hand, I don't think I'd want to have sex in that hotel! That image is a little scary--an infinite number of bodies bobbing about on a similar number of beds. Eeeek!

Michele sent me!