Here is another, rather strange street image from my time in Italy. The setting is a posh clothes shop in Portofino, the main character is the central figure all in white with the big hat. This is me, of course, taking the picture.
Several things are happening here. Shadows and reflections are merging to create a peculiar picture. What is reality and what is image? Real and unreal, two sides of the same coin.
The actual real subject is the shop interior as viewed through its window. We can see racks of clothes, mannequins in the window display, spotlights, and even through the open door of the stockroom at the rear. We can also make out the shop assistant writing something out on the counter.
The alternate reality is that what is cunningly thrown back at us through the ghostly reflections. I appear fairly clear, yet seem to have fused to the shop assistant who is writing something on the counter inside as I am holding up my camera outside. Obviously my shadow and the path I am standing on are reflections also, and not inside the shop. Windows from the building opposite can also be seen, bringing the outside in. The unintentional bits are the re-reflected image of me in the mirror at the back of the shop, (as well as the duplicated shop assistant) and the sudden appearance of a young girl walking into the frame (or has she just materialised from a parallel universe??)
In this age of digital faffing about and photoshopping, bits can be plonked onto other bits, heads exchanged for other heads etc. All I did with this image was to crop a tiny bit from the top and bottom.
Is what’s inside really outside, or the other way around? It’s all a matter of perspective, or is it just an illusion? Was I really there at all?