Photos with Reflections and What Makes Them Work

I’ve been doing a series of these Janus images based on the Janus myth.


In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, doorways, endings and time. He is usually a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past. The Romans dedicated the month of January to Janus.


Here’s an example from the Vatican Museum.

In my case, I’m using a reflection in water as the second image. Reflections only work if  they seem to interact with the original image. That means, both images are somehow greater because of the reflection. In this case the interaction is enhanced by the arm–underwater–seemingly touching the reflection. Because the arm is underwater, it’s a bit ethereal. That makes it appear to be halfway between reality and reflection. I think it really adds to the overall composition. This is an image I’m particularly proud of.

4 comments on “Photos with Reflections and What Makes Them Work

  1. Loved this image but was not conscious of the underwater hand touching the reflected face until I read your post. How interesting and how cool! Love the tie-in with Janus too.

  2. Jerrie,

    i love this photograph. What is startling is how different the two images look, the two halves of self. The hair, too, makes me think it is two people–a double take view!

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