Mirror Images with a twist

April 23, 2024

Mirror imaging is the term used for an image that is created by taking an image or part of an image and mirroring it and connecting the two images to create a surreal look.  The technique has been around for decades.  I remember seeing a monochromatic mirror image that had been made in the 1940s, and that’s what got me to start making them. 

Now the most important thing to consider when creating a mirror, is where to set the mirror point 

Some images will look good by mirroring the entire image, whereas others will require a selective cut.  Let me give you an example.

For this image of the driftwood.

If we mirror the entire image, we get this.

It is a mirror image, but there's not much exciting going on in this image.

However, if we decide to cut the image at the edge of the driftwood, we can create something a little more interesting.

Now this works.  Some people have said it looks like some sort of creature with its arms raised to the sky.  

Take a look at this mirror image.  What do you see? A heart? A face? This image will make a person stop and look closer.

Here's another one.

Now what do you see? An upside-down down heart? A face inside the heart? A demon at the bottom center where the tree roots meet?  It's interesting how our minds find meaning in the shapes when we mirror an image.  Often the shapes are at the middle of the image.

So, let's go through the process of creating a mirror image, and then I'll show you a little twist afterward to mess with the viewer of your images.

So, let's get started.

We are going to start with an image made in New Zealand, with the IR Chrome filter by Kolarivision.

For this image, I think I will mirror everything. 

I will use the rectangular marquee tool to mark the entire image.

Then I'll click Edit, and Copy.  Now I have the image saved to my clipboard.

Next, I'm going to expand my canvas.  To do this I will click Image, then Canvas Size.

Then you see this box appear.

We are going to make a few adjustments.  Under the width, we are going to double that amount. Then in the area below that is marked Anchor, I'll click on the center, left side square so the extra space is added to the right where the mirrored part will go. 

Then click OK.

Now we have an image that looks like this.

Next, click Image, Image Rotation, & Flip Canvas Horizontal.  Now your image will look like this.

Now we are going to use the image we copied to the clipboard.  Simply click Edit, then Paste.

Now you should be seeing something like this.

Now use the move tool to line the two images up.

One more step.  Click Layer, scroll to the bottom, and click Flatten Image.

Congratulations!  You just created a Mirror Image!

Once you complete the steps a few times it will become a quick process. 

Now for that little twist, I mentioned earlier.  When someone realizes they are looking at a Mirror image, their eyes naturally shift left and right as their mind makes sure everything is the same. 

SO, . . . .  Let's mess with them a bit.

For this, we will use the Remove Tool.

I decided to remove one boat from each side, and one rock on the right side.

Here's a side-by-side comparison.

It's just a little something to try.  Here's another one; can you see the differences?

One more thing.  After you get good with a horizontal Mirror Image, try mirroring an image horizontally, and then vertically.  

Going from this.

To this.

And then this.

To date, this is my favorite Mirror Image.  It reminds me of an M.C. Escher print.

So, are you ready to give it a try?  If you get in a jam, I teach online.  www.danwampler.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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