Saturday, September 10, 2005

Speaking of Residual Images....

Today, somehow, I ended up at, reading the article on Jesus. They had a few images of Jesus on the side, old paintings and such. It got me thinking: we obviously don't know what Jesus looked like. However, when we look at a painting of Jesus, we immediately recognise who it is. That means we all have a mental picture inside our heads of what Jesus looks like, collected over the years from various paintings and the like. I wondered what that might look like, exactly, a composite of all these different paintings of Christ. Fortunately, I have both the technology and the ability to construct such a composite. So I did.

I scrounged sixteen different images of the Christ from the Internet, from the traditional icon-type images, to the modern effeminate European type images, one from the Renaissance, and some assorted others. Using a morphing program (called, for reasons I have never fully been able to discern, "Abrosoft FantaMorph") I began combining pairs of pictures, and then combined those combined images with the other combined images, and so on. The result was quite effective, and I was surprised with how well it turned out.

So without further ado, here is the final composite image:

And here is a mosaic showing all the different source pictures I used, alongside the result:

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Residual Self-Image

Y'know, there's something I realised the other day when looking at a picture of myself. I perceive myself exactly backwards to how other people perceive me. My self-image is based on what I see in the mirror, but the mirror is backwards to reality. What I see in the mirror as being to my left, other people see as being to their right, and vice versa. When I part my hair on what in the mirror seems to be the left, other people see it on the right. All this time, when I've looked in the mirror and raised an eyebrow, it's been the wrong eyebrow. It's a very disconcerting thing to realise.

I think this is part of the reason why seeing yourself in a photograph or a home video always seems slightly strange. We're used to seeing ourselves in the mirror, so when we see ourselves in the way that other people do, the two images don't quite match.

It seems like such an obvious thing. I can't believe I didn't realise until now.