Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cartoonish facade

Reflective surfaces
San Francisco, CA, March 2007 [Click to enlarge]

I have a habit of looking up at tall buildings. I've often written about this mini-obsession of mine (see here, here and here) and I suspect I've got many such stories left in me to tell. I think I do this because when I was a child and came across a large building, bridge or similar piece of engineering, I would tilt my head back and say "wow" with that sense of limitless wonder that only a young child can honestly pull off.

Yet, as an adult, I still find moments like this to be wondrous. I'm nowhere near as cute as I was when I was six, but I refuse to believe that just because I'm an adult, the experience should be any less riveting.
Quick aside: Maybe it's our adult reluctance to admit amazement and wonder that makes the world less than happy for so many of us. End digression.
So when I saw this building in San Francisco, I thought it would be neat to capture. It has a dreamy, cartoon-like quality that reminds me why sometimes I shouldn't overthink the picture. Rather, I need to pick the camera up and shoot whatever amazes me. I'll figure out the specifics later on. Until then, it's perfectly OK to say wow. Even though I'm an adult who's supposedly beyond that.

Your turn: It's been a while since I did a first-three-words challenge, so let's change that. What are the first three words that come to mind when you first see this image? Should I keep looking up at big buildings?

One more thing: After clicking on the picture to pull up the high-res version, scroll up and down really quickly. Let me know what you think of the resulting illusion. Cool, isn't it?


Jef said...

Crowded, stretch, sugar-free. (Hey, it reminds me of the packaging of sugarless chewing gum. Actually, it also reminds me of the artwork for the cover of "Boy is Crying" by Saint Etienne.

I did the high resolution quick scroll and I had a nauseating moment like at the end of The Blair Witch Project.

I still do lots of goofy things that I still did as a child, and I don't care what anyone thinks. Perhaps it's my personal form of terrorism.

You know, I was talking with some customers in our bookstore the other day about things about the human body that boggle the mind. Two of the more unsual ones were breast feeding, and the way a rush of blood and some spongey tissue can create and erection that seems to levitate in front of the male body. This related to something in your post, but I forgot what it was now.

Judith said...

Wow, very interesting pic to begin with, but the scrolling made it awesome!

BTW, Michele sent me this time, but I do tend to wander in by myself every once in a while!

Mr. Althouse said...

It's like the building is zooming in. Is that in the financial district??


caramaena said...

Oh that is a really cool illusion!

Tracy said...

This really DOES look like a cartoon, and not a real building. Strange!

Terri said...

Another great photo, Carmi! Three words = Dizzy, pleated, high

Moogie said...

That is a really great illusion. Which building is this? It might just be the angle of the shot but I'm not recognizing it.

CG said...

Repetition, pattern, surreal.

This is fantastic. Whereabouts is it? I'd like to see it myself this summer!

craziequeen said...


[turns green]

I don't look up......[gulp]


Foster Dogs said...

That IS really cool! Fascinating, as always!

Here via Michele's.

Mrs. Fun said...

okay that is way too cool. made be a bit dizzy.

srp said...

I think Blogger ate my comment.

Three words: dizzy, pleated, plaid

If you let your eyes relax and wander like you have to do to see the hidden pictures in some of those puzzles... then it looks like plaid. Lines are going at right angles to each other all over.

And the scrolling effect is cool, indeed. Makes me feel like taking a quick step back before the building attacks.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Okay. Three words.




For a writer, I'm amazingly articulate at times. *wink*

Anna said...

Hello Carmi....

WOW...what can I say?

Three words?


I love the shot (the lines, of course) and the effect!

Hope you are well there! :)

Bob-kat said...

That really does look like a drawing! Three words that come to me: symetry, arty and hive!

Michele sent me back which is cool as I got to come back and check out this previous post!

David said...


My father would have loved you.

Anonymous said...

Oh now this one is just too cool!

Gyrobo said...

I frequently visit the site of a pastry chef who posts delicious images of her baked goods, and I notice this effect every once in a while.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

First three words: piece of art..!
Great bulding and a great picture! I'm fascinated that you thought it cartoony...! To me it truly looks like a gorious piece of sculpture...and the shadows and the colors are magnifient! LOVED the fast scroll thingy...! GREAT, Carmi...just Great, as always.

Lee Ann said...

very much of an optical illusion, love it.