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  • Writer's picturePaul Cotter

It's Not What You Think

When I ask people to guess what I photographed here, everyone assumes it’s something soft: a plush blanket, towel or other fabric. They couldn’t be more wrong.

In fact, there was nothing soft about anything in this image. What you’re seeing are the hard white blinds in our bathroom window, reflected in a curved metal tray sitting on the countertop.

I noticed the distorted reflection one morning when I happened to be standing in just the right place and was looking down at just the right spot on the tray. Mesmerized by the sight, I fetched my tripod and camera mounted with a macro lens. I was fascinated to see how the slightest shift in position – even half an inch – created a dramatically different view.

For me, several life lessons could be learned from this impromptu photo shoot. And the primary takeaway was this: things are not always what they seem.

In this case, what appears soft is not soft at all. Our eyes and our mind can deceive us. That’s good to remember when we make quick assumptions about a person we meet or an issue we don’t fully understand. Things are not always what they seem.

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