Saturday, January 28, 2017

52 week photography project: alice and the looking glass

Note: On January first, I started a new photography project. I will take at least one photograph a day for the entire year, following a program called the 52-week photography challenge for 2017. It is being organized by Dogwood Photography, located in Wilmington, North Carolina. Dogwood Photography operates a photography school in Wilmington and it runs online photography challenges. There are weekly assignments in three categories: story telling, technical, and artistic impression.

Today is the fourth in a series of 52 updates of the project. The challenge for the week was mirror (story). "Tell a story, using a mirror."

I am Alice, and Alice went through the looking glass. She became a pawn and met all sorts of characters. She wandered through a garden of talking flowers and she met Humpty Dumpty and Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.

This Alice spent all week finding stories in the looking glass, but I never went through to the other side. There was a time when I dreamed of going through to the other side. When I was four, my family moved to a big old house in Syracuse, New York. The house featured a landing between the first and the second floors. There was a locked closet on the landing, with a full-length mirror on the door. I spent many hours looking into the mirror and talking to my reflection. My reflection had a different name, which I no longer remember. She had a parallel life to mine. We both went to school, but her school was different from mine. When I had trouble with a subject, she had conquered it. When I had trouble making friends, she had many friends and she was well loved. 

My mirror person only lived in that one mirror. It was the magic mirror that gave me a portal to a world that could be. When I was twelve years old, we moved away, and my mirror friend was no longer part of my world. I miss her but I learned a valuable lesson from her. She was the joyful me. I was the struggling me. If I combined the joyful me and the struggling me, I came up with one whole human, who experienced all that life could offer.

Below are the mirror stories, featuring a variety of mirrors.


This mirror is one of the creations of the folks at Gleam & Glimmer in North Tonawanda, New York. You can see the ceiling and the ceiling lights. When I imagine a bed and breakfast that I would like to run, I visualize a room with this mirror set across from a large bay window with a window set and a view of colorful, lush gardens.


On Sunday, I went to church. In the choir room, there is a full-length mirror. Choir practice is ended, and we are getting ready for the church service.

What makes a morning ritual better? How about if I take a bunch of selfies of my mirror reflection?

Two mirrors (the large one and a hand held mirror) make the selfie project even more fun. This is my laugh in duplicate.

Hey, maybe I did go through that looking glass!

In the evening, I went to my book club meeting at the Grand Island Memorial Library. This is the mirror in the restroom. There's a changing table, but, other than that, it is a pretty sparse room.

I had Zumba on Tuesday morning at the Grand Island Dance Center. A dance studio is a great place to find very large mirrors. When you're dancing, you can check your mirror image to make sure that you are doing your steps correctly. A few weeks before the recital, the mirrors are covered. It's time to get used to dancing without watching a mirror image, since there are no mirrors on stage!

This week, I went to Huth Road Elementary School to interview a teacher. Her story will appear next Monday in my "Teacher Stories" series. I also went to the school to help with the PTA's Staff Appreciation Luncheon. I brought cookies, took pictures, and helped with cleanup. 

In the school office, I found this ruler/mirror. Kids can stand next to the mirror and see how tall they are. It doesn't reach five feet. In the world of the ruler/mirror, I am tall. Nowhere else in the world can I qualify as "tall." Only in the world of the mirror and in the Land of Liliput, a fictional island that appeared in Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel, Gulliver's Travels.

Here is another view of the office mirror/ruler.

On Wednesday, I went to see my hairdresser, Jacquie, for a haircut. Beauty salons are great places for mirrors. I placed the bear in the mirror and posed it with the beauty products. The bear is happy to admire its reflection... or maybe visit with its best friend.

Post haircut selfie.

Selfies are fun, especially when you learn how to point the camera at your face without covering up your face!

Having a mirror makes it look as if the hair care products are multiplying over and over and over again.


On Thursday, I went to Stella Niagara Educational Park in Lewiston, New York, for a twice-monthly watercolor painting class. The theme for this class session was brightly colored jars, bottles, and vases, along with their reflections. The goal was to keep the painting loose and to leave white spaces to show where the light hits the glass. Here are some of the "models" for the class. They are sitting on top of a mirror. Below is another view of the same models.


Mirror at Town Hall.

Here is a closer look at the forward and backward bottle of hand soap at Town Hall. The bottle seems to be there as a visual aid, since it is empty.

Holding a pin up in the mirror.


On Friday, I was back at Huth Road Elementary School, helping out with the Staff Appreciation Luncheon. I was in the Ladies' room and I thought that it would be fun to take a picture of the reflection of the ceiling.

Here is a close-up and slightly dizzy-inducing view of the ceiling and it's partial reflection.

Well, that's week four! Please come back next week for another installment in the saga of the 52 week photography project. I hope that you had fun looking at the mirrors. In the comments, please feel free to describe some of the mirrors in your world.

6 comments:

Alana said...

When we moved into the house we bought almost 30 years ago, it had a large mirror in the living room. The mirror came down years ago, when we had a second floor put on our house, and we had it made into two smaller framed mirrors - one is in our bedroom and one is in what was our son's room. The two mirrors are still there, but I won't be taking selfies using them. In my ethnic tradition, incidentally, if a close relative (parent, spouse, child) dies, all mirrors in your house are covered during the first week after the death. I am told the reason for that is that evil demons are attracted to such a house and if you look in the mirror, you might see one of them. So reflections aren't always good, at least in some cultures.

mahathi ramya A said...

The post hair cut selfie is great. The mirror in the first photos is really a good decorating piece.

Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte said...

Love your hand mirror selfies. Your smile is so contagious!

LadyInRead said...

love the theme you picked for this week of photos.. and agree with Kandas, you have a contagious smile.. especially loved the comment about going through the looking glass...

Rose Mont said...

Haha a selfie is better when you are not covering up your face. What a fun photo challenge. Mirrors this week could have been the puddles from all the rain, gym mirrors, reflections in the glass at storefronts, rear view mirror in my car that I can see my kids being silly in when I drive. I look forward to hearing about your next challenge!

LadyNightwaveBrendaMarie Writer said...

It looks like you had a lot of fun doing this one. It's not easy doing a selfie.

W is for the wow factor

There is something about doing art that just seems astonishing. For sure, there is a "wow factor" involved. From a blank sheet...