#017: A moment at the dimpled mirror

Out and about on the streets of London with my camera one day, trying unsuccessfully, to capture a decisive moment or two or three, and I found myself standing in front of the John Lewis department store and observed the people walking by. Oxford street is always a buzz with people at any time of the day, a perfect area to photograph people as they go about their “daily shopping”.

Standing under the giant awning of the department store, it was then that I noticed the interesting shiny ceiling above me. It presented a clean mirrored reflection of the street below it. But what made it more intriguing to me was the fact that this metal sheets were dimpled (I think it was metal, couldn’t tell). It had small concave dents that gave the mirrored reflection a bizarre look. All the people walking by looked like a wavy, distorted shape of their natural selves.

  Street level view of the front ceiling of John Lewis department store. Oxford Street, London.

Street level view of the front ceiling of John Lewis department store. Oxford Street, London.

I found myself drawn to the funny shapes of the people walking by and stood under the awning for a while, capturing this weird scene. Thankfully, I had some good light that helped with the contrast of peoples shadows. I moved up and down the stretch in front of the store, finding the best angle to get the particular look I had envisioned in my mind. Below is a snapshot of the kind of shots I was getting. Not all were good, as the figures were too distorted to give the viewer any form of reference, so i ended up discarding a lot of them. Sifting through a ton of photos that all look slightly similar to one another is no easy task. Lightroom wasn’t playing nice with me either and it took a fair while to get down to the most interesting shots, that I think look presentable enough, to show you all.

  Contact sheet of some of the shots from the series.

Contact sheet of some of the shots from the series.

Sometimes in street photography It can be fun to just shoot a very specific series of shots from one particular place to be able to showcase the area and how it looks or feels. It doesn’t have to be just that one major decisive moment, as many “indecisive moments” could work, in my opinion, as a simple series or a collection of shots that form a larger story to tell. You just need to work the scene. Observe how the people are interacting with the surrounding, how the light falls to cast the shadows etc. As a stand alone image I don’t think many will work from the shots that I took at this area, but as a series of shots like the one I am presenting below, it can be interesting to view.

The photos below are my favourites from the series of shots that I took from that area. Once again, the images you see have not been manipulated in anyway, with only minor colour and contrast editing that i usually do in Lightroom. The “weirdness” in the images are all from that reflective surface I mentioned.

Let me know if you liked them or not, of if I should have done something different with these photos.

All photos were taken with the Fujifilm X100S.

Cheers.