Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Your own reflection in digital camera LCD screens

I ran across this photo on The Cobrasnake's website:

When digital cameras first appeared one of the weird things I noticed was the way your own image is reflected in the screen while reviewing photos.  4x5 cameras or any view camera with a ground glass also did this, but not as vividly, and also any lens does it when you turn around the camera, but that's not what I'm talking about.

As much as I'm still periodically spooked by my own image reflected in a digital camera's screen, I was spooked much more the first time I saw a print large enough to see the reflection of the photographer in a subject's eyeball.  Specifically, my photo teacher at UT made about a dozen 30x40 prints of environmental portraits from 4x5 negatives where you could see him, in eyeballs the size of baseballs, standing next to the tripod-mounted view camera used to make the photographs.  Details to either side and behind the photographer were visible as well.  I immediately recognized that this deeper illustration of the context of the photograph changed the context of the viewer of the print.  

With newer computers and tablets, the screens tend to be much more vividly reflective than older screens, and before we turn on the device, we see ourselves for a moment.  Again, I hate that it happens, and suppose I race to turn on the screen in order to minimize the amount of time I am reminded that I am possibly wasting my time browsing the internet or whatever.  Or at the very least am bothered that I might be wasting brain power worrying about the implications of seeing one's reflection in a new type of device.  

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