Transforming a Door into an Optical Illusion


As you show less and less of an entire object you're more likely to transform it into an abstract image. One where the original object is not so important, but it is the remaining lines, shapes and colors that create a new image. Perhaps a strict definition of an abstract image is one where it is not possible to identify the original subject. I'm not one to cling too tightly (38 Special, anyone?) to strict definitions; in general I think of photography "rules" more as guidelines. For this image I think it's still pretty clear these are doors, but nonetheless I'd throw it into the abstract category. What fascinated me as I processed the image is how it turned into an image where everything is not as it seems.

These are two glass doors at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. You're looking through the doors to the floor on the other side. However with this tight view I can almost see the doors as being solid and made of metal. It seems like there's a slight shimmer to the surface of the doors, which reminds me of the surface of elevator doors. Of course the giveaway is that you can see the handles on the inside of the doors.

The second thing that struck me as not what it seems is across the bottom of the image. There's a noticeable speckled appearance which made me think there was a lot of noise. As soon as I saw that on my computer screen I checked the ISO, which was 100. So it wasn't noise. I zoomed in a saw that it's a light pattern of black specks on the carpet.

Here's the original image:

Hilz_130512_3405 - Version 2