Sunday, November 30, 2008
THE GHOST IN THE UNDERWEAR
I was in the shower today when my eyes caught a glimpse of something that I couldn't believe. A face, a marble face was hanging on the bathroom door. My imagination is playing tricks, I thought, there is no face. But the smoothly sculpted female ghost with heavy eyelids didn't go away. It took a few more second for my brain to grasp that my underwear hanging from the door handle was accidentally draped in such a way as to suggest this apparition.
I fetched the camera and took this photo and I swear I haven't altered or enhanced the picture or the objects in any way: this is exactly what I saw. Once you've noticed the face, you almost obliterate the fact of what it actually is. But if you focus on the facts, then you might not see the face at all.
I often see faces within random objects but this was one of the most striking examples I've ever encountered. Leonardo da Vinci wrote about seeing images in clouds, on walls etc. Face-recognition patterns are built in to our brains right from the start but these unexpected and fleeting ghosts are interesting in their own right. Are there some around you right now that you could photograph?
UPDATE: For the benefit of those who couldn't see the face in the first photo, I've added a smoothed-by-Photoshop version. Now do you see it?