Is there such a thing as objective reality? Or does each of us process our own world through a fuzzy set of personal filters and biases?
Can two people look at the same thing and see something completely different?
As the status quo continues to be dismantled on a daily basis, lots of folks are feeling like we are experiencing "parallel worlds" in that life appears one way, but at the same time there is something very different going on.
Is one reality more "real" than any other? Or do we experience them simultaneously?
As photographers, how can we can capture this feeling of experiencing different realities and conveying them in a single photo?
This was the challenge posed to the Aminus3 photography community.
The results were remarkable and show us that there are almost as many creative ways to portray different realities in a single image as there are different realities in the universe!
Even when the whole world is just a reflection, there is still something there on the surface, the filter on the lens with which we perceive this reality.
Where is the Self in a Parallel World?
While the world is changing at an accelerated pace, the concept of self and where it fits in the world is perhaps as old as humanity itself.
Inside and Outside
Reflections inside and outside shape what we see. Sometimes the result is crystal clear and other times it is a mix of realities in one frame of reference.
Self and Other
More and more it seems the reality of other people right next to us may as well be a universe away. We are each processing our own experiences, often oblivious to what is going on with the other people around us.
Worlds in a Window
Mirrors and glass, reflecting something behind or away from us. Dividing up reality into individual panes.
Skyscrapers and Cities
Walking through the city, the world is distorted in the glass walls around us. Some reflections reveal the parallel reality of time, mirroring the architecture of different ages. Skyscrapers throw off strange reflections of the city itself. The mirrored images are bent and twisted, changing with every new angle and perspective.
Old and New
Cities provide unique vantage points to observe historic older neighborhoods along side newer modern buildings. This juxtaposition of old and new creates a sense of living in a parallel world between past and present.
A similar effect is experienced when modern technology finds itself inserted into ancient history.
Creative use of the horizon or natural dividing lines in the frame can be used to create different realities in a single image. Notice how rotating a vertical image splits the photo into two distinct sections at the horizon.
Worlds in Nature
Nature provides many different worlds converging into one reality. Where one distinct ecosystem ends, another begins. On a large scale or at the macro level of insects and flowers, nature mirrors itself from small to large, and in between.
Whether created on film, with a digital sensor in camera, or composited in an app, multiple exposures layer realities on top of each other in new and surprising ways. Concepts can be introduced that transcend the limitations of visual reality, and the world of symbol can emerge.
Frames in Frames
Archways and doorways are portals, leading us from one world into another. These realities inside realities can take us to new places as we step into the frame.
Reality in Motion
In these images, long exposures are used to create this unique effect of movement in the frame showing two different "realities" of one scene.
More Experiments in Parallel Worlds
The creative challenge to show different worlds in a single photo takes us to many different ideas and places.
All photos in this article were posted to the Aminus3 Photography Community and are copyrighted by their respective photographers.
Click on any photo to see a larger version or to leave a comment for the photographer.
Are you inspired to create your own parallel world image?
Why not Join the Aminus3 Community so you can share your photos with a global audience of joyful creators.