My Blog

10 May

Distortion & Reflection

Water Distortion & Reflection

Bringing all of my blog posts together, I wanted to link each experimentation within my final self-portrait piece. As I am interested in water and reflection (which is highlighted within my portfolio, as I have experimented a lot into this area in my projects) I decided to focus on how water changes the way we see objects, people and our surroundings.


I took inspiration from Laurence Demaison who explored the way water can distort and change a portrait of someone.

In the artist's work they focus on water which is highlighted through the ripples and pattern that has been created of the movement water. In Laurence's images, it shows distortion of the face behind the motion of the water.

The water covers parts of the face, but not fully, so that you are able to recognise that there is a person behind, from the shape of the figure and some features within the face.


I like the idea of showing myself in this way by changing the way I am seen in person and how water can change the way we view a person, as well how I see through the water and if that distorts my vision. 

I concentrated on distorting the face. I wanted to include my GIF of me holding a clear ball to my face which enhanced my eye and blocked out the rest of my face, letting the viewer only see a part of me through the way I dress and the surroundings as well as the enhanced feature of my face. 

Goldfish bowl

I then explored further by using the bowl and water and taking away my body so that there wasn't a distraction. I focused on just the face through the water. I positioned myself so that the viewer was able to see my face and the distorted facial features.

photoshop 1

From experimenting with GIFs and cinemagraphs in my previous blog posts I have decided to create my experimentations solely on cinemagraphs for my final. I find that GIFs have too much going on and movement within them which I feel wouldn't work with my ideas. I want to focus on the distortion and the water, instead of the surroundings and other movement within the images. I therefore feel that cinemagraphs work better as they produce slight movement and I am able to select the parts I want moving so that the main focus is on one particular subject to portray my ideas and myself. I used photoshop to create these cinemagraphs by making a part of the video still so that when I masked the image and painted over it, the parts I had painted over were the only parts that were moving and that I wanted to be the only movement. 

Distortion bowl
Fiz Bowl

Both cinemagraphs show the distortion of my face through the bowl of water. This shows how the water and glass changes the way I look and the way I see, as the water distorts my vision too when looking through it. This shows how each individual see's things differently. We are all human but we all have different ideas and thought processes. For the right cinemagraph, I dropped a Berocca tablet into the water to if anything would change in the water and how my face is seen because of it. The tablet fizzes within the water creating bubbles and a cloud of yellow powder, like smoke. This blocks my face, obscuring it a little. Within the cinemagraph I kept the surroundings and my face still and focused on the fizz produced within the water which I kept moving. This takes you away from the distorted face a little and you don't notice straight away the background and the distortion of the face because of the movement in front. This changes the way we view the image. 

I then researched into water and cinemagraphs and came across work by Mason Drumm and Jens Nuehlen.


Both cinemagraphs show reflection within water so instead of looking through water and seeing the distortion within that, it shows a different way of seeing the subject and surrounding. I like the way you are able to see the transformation of the surroundings and subject from seeing both the original and the reflected image. This inspired me to look more into reflection and how I could portray myself in this way. The reflection is an upside down image/figure of the area and is slightly distorted due to the movement and reflection of the water. 

photoshop 3

Within my experimentations I wanted to keep myself still and have the ripples of the water and the reflection to be moving. This shows the way the body is distorted through the movement of the water and a way of seeing a different perspective of myself through my self-portrait. I wanted to focus on the water as it reveals a different way of looking at a self-portrait.

Reflection shadow


This is my Final self-portrait:

Reflection water flow



  • Arrieta, Carlos. "Photographer Highlight: Laurence Demaison". Carlos Arrieta. N.p., 2010. Web. 11 May 2017.
  • "Les Bulles - 1998 - Laurence Demaison - Site Officiel". Web. 11 May 2017.
  • Drumm, Mason. "Jumping Puddles". Flixel. N.p., 2016. Web. 11 May 2017. 
  • Nuehlen, Jens. "Upside Down". Flixel. N.p., 2017. Web. 11 May 2017.