The Picture and its Reflection.
As often this history begin with an old myth.
In Greek mythology then Roman, Narcisse is an young man of a great beauty fallen in love with his own image. Narcisse, wire of the Cephise god-river and the Liriope nymph, is a very beautiful loved child of the nymphs. The Tiresias soothsayer, consulted on his future, declares that it will be able to live a long time provided that it does not see.
Become adolescent, Narcisse, whose beauty is bright, systematically pushes back the women like the men enthusiast of him, seeking insulation in the forests. It is there that it meets one day the Echo nymph, passionately in love with him. Whereas it leaves a coppice the arms tended towards him, he rejects it and flees; Echo, despaired, disappears in wood and lets itself there decay, until it remains of it only its voice. The other nymphs complain at Nemesis, goddess of divine Revenge, the attitude scornful of the young man. One day that Narcisse drives out in wood, this one pushes it with going to be refreshed in a limpid fountain, where he sees his reflection which he takes for that of another. Fascinated by this face, Narcisse cannot detach the eyes of them any more; not managing to obtain the love of this being which it cannot be itself, it is let die on the spot, not eating nor not drinking more. To the site of its body ground a beautiful gilded flower, the Narcisse leaves, who in spring reflects himself in water. It is said that in the world of beyond, Hades, Narcisse continue to seek the love of its reflection in water of Styx. The myth of Narcisse in love with itself would be comic if there were not Écho. Echo gives to the myth of Narcisse a dramatic dimension.
Echo is a nymph of the mountains (oreade) pertaining following Hera. By ceaseless chatterings, it collects the attention of the latter to protect the connections that Zeus maintains with other nymphs. Discovering one day the subterfuge, Hera, to be avenged, condemns Echo to more be able to speak only to repeat the last words which she heard. Echo, private from the capacity to be expressed, falls one day in love with the beautiful Narcisse. It follows it everywhere in the forest, but cannot declare its love to him. One day that it is there only and that it seems to him to feel a presence at its sides, it is addressed to her. Echo can of course only repeat its last words, but ends up leaving the trees, the arms tended towards the young man. This one pushes back it and flees. Despaired, Écho takes refuge at the bottom of the forest, where it decays of sorrow. The drama of Echo highlights the evil that the narcissistic ones make with their close relation and all those which surround them.
Narcissism is a concept indicating the feeling in love carried to its own image, in reference to the myth of Narcisse.
The term was introduced into the vocabulary of the psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) in 1910. It indicates the investment of the libido on ego of the subject.
The myth of Echo and Narcisse was represented many times by the painters. Caravage (1598) chooses to represent Narcisse alone contemplating his reflection in water. In the painting of Nicolas Poussin, Echo and Narcisse (1630) the young man is deadened and Echo seems to be bored firmly behind him. François Lemoyne (1728) lets appear a Narcisse who seems to want to touch his reflection. Waterhouse (1903) shows us Narcisse who seems absorbed by his reflection and Écho sad and resigned,
at the edge of water the flowers are already there.
Since the myth of Narcisse the reflection of the person gives to the image where it is present a psychological dimension.
The reflection sometimes also gives to the images an existential dimension. Es this which I exist ? And if I exist who am I ? As soon as the reflection appears there is often deformation thus multiple questions about the perception and the conscience of oneself. And the questions are multiple, on the social status but also the place where one is. This painting of Goya entitled the Old women or Time induces another type of question which can generate anguish or melancholy, time passes, it is not for only Hades, god of death in Greek mythology, is with the back on the painting of Goya.
In photography water, if it is calm, makes it possible to carry out images with an effect of mirror, this type of image, perfectly symmetrical or with a light blur generates a feeling of peace and serenity at the spectator. On the other hand as soon as water is agitated a little it produces deformations. Water often generates beneficial reflections for the colour. If you do not forget to use a filter polarizing the reflections of the colour in water will allow you to obtain effects known as “ impressionist ”. Water and the reflections make it possible to reach in photography the subtlety and the smoothness of the pallet of the impressionist great painters.
In the same way, a judiciously treated reflection can give a surrealist effect. If you introduce a mirror and a reflection into a portrait you can obtain at the same time abstract and surrealist effects.
There are also the magic effects of the reflection. Something of small can reflect the image of a thing much larger. If it is exact that the part can sometimes reflect the whole, from many images are also obtained in post- production by photo assembly. In many cases this type of images are of a good esthetical value, and sometimes also, poetic and romantic.
Very often the reflection accentuates the effects of the images. Whether the effects are poetic or spectacular the reflection adds a new dimension. A landscape deformed by an objective great angle all the more tightened it if its reflection underlines the effect. Attention the spectator often manages to recognize the improbable images and quickly distinguishes them from the real images. Often without any indication. This is valid in the case of the images which are not paradoxical.
But there exist ambiguous images. This type of image is not a photo assembly.
It is about an image taken since the space and which represents the town of Chicago which is reflected in the Lake Michigan. In fact this image which curves space is practically a mirage. And the mirage is a type of reflection which is not always the best friend of the man. The mirage is an optical illusion caused by the refraction of the light in the atmosphere in layers of air of different temperature and density. The hot air and less dense near the ground makes deviate and change convexity the trajectory of the luminous rays, as if they were considered on a mirror. When these luminous rays, which are not rectilinear any more but curved, reach the eye of the observer, they seem to come from the ground and the observer then sees a second image, reversed. A traditional example of this phenomenon is the reflection of the image of the cars on an overheated asphalt road. A mirage generally occurs on an extent without vegetation exposed to the sun, such as a desert.
In the desert certain things can appear whereas they are only reflections. And this also occurs on water. A mirage can also occur at sea when water is hotter than the air. In this case, the phenomenon of reflection is due to the atmosphere rarefied above the sheet of water.
In the night from April 14th to 15th 1912, Titanic runs up against an iceberg against the south of the benches of Newfoundland; the iceberg bursts 5 of the 16 tight compartments, that is to say one moreover than what had been considered possible in the event of accident, and the boat sink in less than three hours. On the 2.220 passengers and team members, 1.513 find death in this catastrophe. The investigation which follows reveals that several elements are at the origin of this maritime disaster.
Worst and the saddest of the errors is human: there was in the lifeboats of place only for half of the passengers and the crew, and Californian, which sailed in the vicinity, did not assist from Titanic its operator radio operator slept and was not in service. Especially during all its shipwreck Titanic sent luminous signals to Californian but this one did not see, because of the reflections and the temperature of the air, that a simple flutter. Californian had enough boats to save everyone and sailed simultaneously with a few miles of Titanic… Since Narcisse humanity made way but the reflection always has disastrous