Gallery: through a glass darkly
When you look at a piece of delicately spun glass you think of two things: how beautiful it is and how easily it can be brokenTennessee Williams
Arguably it’s the fragility of glass that makes it so beautiful. Not only does it look lovely, we know how easily we could lose it.
Glass has two main properties; we can look through it, or we can see the world reflected in it. For Terri’s Sunday Stills challenge this week I’m simply sharing a few photos illustrating each of these aspects of glass.
The world is a looking glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own faceWilliam Makepeace Thackeray
While glass is very reflective, those reflections aren’t always perfect. Maybe that’s what makes them so interesting to us as photographers?
Modern architecture both reflecting and reflected in Pyongyang, North Korea
More reflections from Pyongyang, on (relatively) busy Yonggwang St,
Minaret reflections in Salalah, Oman
St Patrick’s Cathedral reflected in one of the buildings of the Rockefeller Center, NYC
St Paul’s Cathedral reflected in a window of the Tate Modern gallery, London (not to mention the two photographers, with Chris alongside me!)
Talking of Chris, here’s the coastline at Lagarta Lodge, Costa Rica, reflected in his sunglasses (this is also a ‘through glass’ photo as we’re separated from the view by the glass wall of the hotel’s terrace!)
And here are more sunglass reflections courtesy of a friendly man we met in Twisp, Washington State (again, spot the two photographers!)
Still in the US, this was taken in the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Looking through glass, we sometimes see things beyond it much as they really are. But glass can also play tricks on us, depending on its shape and other qualities. It can turn the world upside down, change its colours or merely distort it.
Looking out from Cape May Lighthouse, New Jersey (and no, I haven’t inverted the photo, it’s the shape of the glass creating the upside-down image)
I’ve shared this before but this shot taken in the old pharmacy in Tallinn, with an upside-down view of the Town Hall Square, is too obvious an example not to include again
Likewise this shot from Lecce in Italy, but again it’s perfect for this theme
Another glass of wine but much closer to home in the garden of our local pub, the New Inn in Ealing
Coloured glass is harder to see through but it does let in light, as these stained glass windows in the Dom St. Nikolaus, Feldkirch, Austria, demonstrate
As do these wine bottles on display in the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz, Germany
However clear the glass rain will distort what we see through it, such as here at Tate St Ives, Cornwall
Dirt will distort the view too; maybe this window at the Chongjin Foreigners’ Lodgings in North Korea is kept deliberately dirty, as we weren’t really supposed to be taking photos here!
Light passing through prism shaped glass creates a rainbow of colours, as in this chandelier in the old assembly room in St Albans, England
And finally rather different use of glass on the roof of the City Palace in Udaipur, India
PS. Took St-Patrick last year November. Didn’t think of turning around… 😉
Thank you – it’s my habit to look in all directions when carrying a camera!
Very right. I don’t always… (Except there’s some street art in front. Then there might be in a corner behind…
Very nice reflections. I can almost see the building you mean on fifth.
Great collection. The broken images on the skyscrapers speak to me as well. The rear view in the Tetons is my favorite of this bunch.
Thank you Ruth. I have special memories of our visit to the Tetons, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary there!
I love all of those. Made me think of a few I could’ve added had I looked a bit harder.
Oh that happens to me all the time with challenges! Thank you 😊
Beautiful glass photos!
Thank you 😊
Although one can’t clearly see what’s going on outside, I always find a window with rain splashing against it to be a lovely sight… maybe because it’s usually accompanied by a fireplace and hot drink or glass of red wine. Therefore, your Cornwall photo is my favourite (but as always, the others are beautiful as well).
That one was taken from the gallery’s café, so no cosy fireplace, but there was definitely coffee!
Gift N. T.
This glassy journey was fun. The Cornwall glass looks as if it were abstract art.
Yes, I felt it made the scene look like a modern watercolour perhaps. I like the idea of a ‘glassy journey ‘ 😀
Aletta - nowathome
A great selection of different glass you got here Sarah! I love the stained glass windows!
Thank you Aletta – I’m rather keen on modern stained glass in particular
Aletta - nowathome
I like it too
I love the colours and shapes, Sarah, they’re so graceful and agreeable.
Thank you – there is something special about glass!
Beautiful – there’s a Glass Museum in Malaga if you’re ever passing through….
Thanks for the tip, I’ll bear it in mind 😀
I love the simplicity of that first gallery with the beautifully coloured bottles, Sarah.
There were some beautiful pieces in that exhibition Jo – that’s just a small selection!
Wow, you nailed this theme beautifully, Sarah! 🙂 I love all your images and the words that went with them!
Aw, thank you, I appreciate the feedback!
What a fantastic set of images you’ve gathered together for this piece, Sarah! Each one has something special to draw the viewer in — color, reflections, subject matter, shapes, uniqueness and more! Did you happen to see my photo of the deep green, hand-blown glass bottle and background shared on my FB page recently? Hope so! Just a wonderful post and photos as always!
Thank you Sylvia 😊 No, I must have missed that photo. I love hand-blown glass and would have commented for sure!
Mike and Kellye Hefner
These photos are not only beautiful, but they are very interesting. I enjoyed seeing them and studying them. You truly have a creative eye, Sarah.
Thank you, I’m very glad you enjoyed these!
Terri Webster Schrandt
You have managed to curate an amazing set of images of glass, Sarah, wow! You should have been the host of Sunday Stills judging by all these fab examples. I always love shots through reflective sunglasses and so fun to notice the photographer reflected in some of the shots! I think my fave is the image of all the wine bottles on display in Germany. I also like your gallery block style–I need to try better with the one I used this week–did you use one of the pattern blocks? You did a great job with it, it really displays the images so nicely! Thank you for your entry this week–it blew my socks off and bon voyage on your travels and enjoy! We’ll be here when you get back 🙂
Thanks so much Terri 😊 I use a background plugin for most of my galleries, setting the colour to black and putting a thin white frame around the shots in Photoshop before uploading. Glad you like the effect!
Glass is a winning material in so many ways, but I think I enjoy it most when it provides us with so many enjoyable reflections, as here: and as spotted and captured by you!
Thank you Margaret 😊 I can never resist photographing an interesting reflection!
As ever, some inspired photography Sarah. Although when I saw the heading I thought this post was going to be about looking at today’s partial eclipse! I absolutely knew that was Costa Rica even before I read your text! I bet your excitement is growing this morning…
Ha, I never thought of that! Glad you liked the photos and spotted Costa Rica 😀
Just beautiful Sarah. I too enjoy the upside views through a glass and have several such – even though I just take “snaps” rather than photographs.
Thank you Yvonne 🙂 I don’t think I’d make that distinction – all snaps are photographs, although arguably not all photographs are snaps!