January was actually named after the goddess Juno by the ancient Romans. Later tradition has associated the first month of the year with Janus, the god whose image has two faces: one looking back to the past and the other forward to the future. It seems like a good time to consider the subject of reflections, which often do not create perfect “mirror images.”
So here is a set of my favorite reflection photos to remind us that the future need not mirror the past.
In 2017 we visited Munich. Our hosts took us out to explore the nearby Bavarian countryside, where we strolled past these swans reflected in a beautiful pond.
Beach at Gearhart
The gradually sloping beach at Gearhart, Oregon provides a mirror for lovely clouds. The tiny figures in the distance give a sense of spaciousness to the scene.
Two years ago, I took this selfie reflected in an ornament hung on a tree outside the gatehouse at the Bloedel Reserve and posted it on Facebook as my Christmas card. That brown rectangle I’m holding contains the present I had just bought for my wife at the adjacent gift shop.
Leaving the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art I noticed these windows and moved around until I had a different cloud image in each one, creating a cloud triptych. The little bunch of leaves is attached to a Central Park tree behind me.
The angled glass facade of a building in downtown Seattle creates a cubist image of adjacent buildings while the traffic light hanging above reminds us where we are: crossing a street. The black border I added works with the frames of the glass panes to give structure to the architectural chaos. The mass of globes at lower right are on a chandelier hanging inside the lobby behind the glass.
Dogwood in Japanese Guest House
No, the blooming dogwood is not actually inside the Japanese guest house at the Bloedel Reserve, just reflected in its windows.
Eagle Harbor Sunset
In this view of Cannery Cove I purposely captured only a bit of the sky to provide orientation in viewing the reflected sunset, and aimed the camera to create a leafy frame.
As we were getting off the ferry from Bainbridge I caught this view of the Bremerton ferry just leaving reflected in the Seattle terminal windows. The figure at left is behind me, looking out at the departing ferry whereas the figures at right are inside the terminal. It looks like a double exposure, but it was just a single shot. Looking at the picture later I was amused by the “wet floor” caution sign seemingly referring to the water reflected just above it.
A thin crinkled layer of ice on this pond in Battle Point Park captured the reflection of bare trees above, drowned leaves below and new-fallen ones scattered on the surface.
This golden autumn view of the vista across from Eagle Harbor Drive always reminds me of Europe, with the foliage framing the house in such a way as to suggest an Italian farmhouse.
Grand Forest Puddle
I’ve taken a lot of puddle reflection shots, but this is my favorite so far, taken last November in the Grand Forest. We look down to look up.
Mt. Shushkan from Picture Lake
Almost all shots of Mt. Shuksan reflected in Picture Lake are horizontal, but I decided in this one to emphasize the vertical layers, including the waterlilies submerged beneath the reflection of the mountain beyond. The shapes of saplings below and mature trees beyond echo the series of of sharp angles created by peaks.
At one end of this pond in Battle Point Park a reflected cluster of vine maple trunks is set in motion by ducks swimming nearby out of frame to the left. In the foreground you can see details of fallen leaves lying underwater.
ABOUT PAUL BRIANS. Paul Brians does extensive volunteer photography for the Bainbridge Island Land Trust. He created the photo book Four Seasons on Bainbridge Island (2010), was principal photographer for Natural Bainbridge (2019)and contributed the majority of photographs in Dave and Alice Shorett’s Thirty Walks on Bainbridge (2020) published for the benefit of the Land Trust. He also took photos for some years for Bainbridge in Bloom. He has had six exhibitions of his prints on the Island and his pictures have appeared in many regional publications and on Bainbridge-related Web sites. He posts photos daily on Facebook and is an active member of the Bainbridge Island Photo Club.