Pond Parallax

July 22, 2008


Provided by: Mila Zinkova, Fogshadow
Summary Author: Mila Zinkova

The photo above shows the reflection of the Sun and a street lamp in a pond in San Francisco, California. Note that in the reflection, the position of the Sun seems closer to the lamp than it does in the actual scene. The reason for this is parallax. In essence, the reflection shows the view as seen from a point that is the camera's reflection in the water -- as far below the pond surface as the camera is above it. Since the street lamp is so much closer than the Sun, parallax mainly affects the position of the lamp's reflected image. These perspective effects are almost always present in pictures of reflection in water, but they’re not often as obvious as shown here. Photo taken on February 8, 2008. Thanks to Andy Young for his help with this.