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?