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The Face in the Clouds

Updated on June 10, 2015
The Face in the Clouds
The Face in the Clouds | Source

Do you see faces in clouds?

Do you see this one? This gave me goosebumps.

Let me tell you this story.

Every morning very early, my other half walks on Fort Lauderdale beach at dawn photographing the sunrise. He sends a selection straight away to social media. While he's doing that, I am working on the computer at home and see his photographs popping up on my screen. When I saw this one, I realized straight away what a wonderful photograph it is of the sun rising ... and then I saw the face.

Do you see it?

It was even more enthralling because of the two people walking there - we both assumed that they were father and son. Then I saw the third element in the photograph - the bird soaring away into the skies. This was powerful imagery at the dawning of a new day. The sunrise and the dawn always create beautiful art but this was something special. You might not see the face at first - but once you see it (half close your eyes) then your eyes are drawn to it every time.

I was brought up in a tiny coal mining village in England and everyone had working fireplaces in their homes in those days because the coal was so cheap. I often used to see shapes - faces, animals, birds and so on - in the flames of the open fire.I see shapes in clouds too. It is just me or can you see him too?

Photograph © Andy Royston.

The Face on Twitter

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This was taken just a few seconds later and sent to social media. The face is still there. Pay particular attention to the date ... it was Memorial Day Weekend.

Facebook

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Clouds watch over us - the poster is available

Andy is a well-known iPhoneographer and has exhibited in various countries in prestigious galleries.

Normally his work is sold as limited edition giclées which are signed and numbered. I thought that this photograph ought to be made accessible to all, not just people who can afford expensive artwork - a poster maybe.

There was a bit of a 'discussion' about this but I won.

You can order the poster here.

Pareidolia

I have theory - tell me if you think I'm wrong - that women see these things are than men (although don't we all see the man in the moon?) I base this theory on a casual experiment using the FedEx logo.

In my old job, we often used that logo as a demonstration of really good branding work with an almost subliminal message. Take a look at the logo in the image below. We found that women almost always saw 'it'; men only did when it was pointed out to them.

Is it the same with this photograph?

I wonder if we are more likely to have the pareidolia effect these days, largely thanks to the internet? After all, we interpret :) as a human smiley face, ;) as a wink and :( as a frown. Electrical outlets have 'faces'. So do cars. Have the robots we see on TV made us more prone to pareidolia? Or were our ancient forefathers more susceptible to seeing a god in the sky?

This is such a fascinating subject. Do let me know what you think in the comments box below.

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Learn more about ways of seeing

It's easy to believe that because we see things in a particular way,others will too. But that's often not the case.

The example on the right is a famous one. What do you see?

Do you see an Edwardian lady sitting in front of a mirror attending to her toilette?

Or do you see a skull?

The chances are that you can see both but you might have to squint your eyes a little, or half close them.

Now move back from your computer by several feet. It's likely that you'll only see the skull and the Edwardian lady will only be in your memory. You'll still see her but only because you've seen her already and she is in your mind.

If You Still Can't See Him - It's easier on a tiny image

Photography credits

© Andy Royston. FedEx image from Wikipedia Commons.

Remember, you can order the poster here.

If you'd like to have this inspirational image in any other form, from a pack of postcards to a framed and signed giclée, just get in touch via the contact page here.

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You are free to share this image via social media with a link to this page Please do not use it in any other way without permission. Thank you!.

What do YOU think?

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    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      But the arrow is pointing the opposite direction the plane is flying....and would appear the same on a truck....never noticed that, but I am not a visual artist :-)I saw the face in the clouds though....when I am relaxed enough I see stuff like that too.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @lesliesinclair: I've always preferred sunrises to sunsets. The sunrise is the start of a new day with so much potential and promise. The genius (to me anyway) of the FedEx logo is the white shape between the bottom of the 'E' and the 'x'. It forms a perfect arrow. This represents 'as straight as an arrow', getting quickly and directly from point A to point B - which is what the company is all about. Brilliant.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      One of the splendors of a great viewpoint, where the sun illuminates at the opening and closing of the day, is the possibility of capturing such fantastic photographs. I saw the man right off, and to me, these are reminders of reexamine our precepts, maybe in the particulars. Now as to the FedEx shot, tho I'm a visual artist and think I'm pretty much visually acute, I'm dull there.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sousababy: Thank you - it's stunning, isn't it?

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 4 years ago

      I wanted to revisit this lens of yours - I have seen a face in the clouds rather often. I look at the sky a few times a day. This one is incredibly striking - it's unforgettable. So glad it was captured in time for a poster to be made of it.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you Susan!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I most definitely see the face, just one, and wow, how special! The poster is absolutely gorgeous.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Yes, I remember the old/young one but I can't see it here :) I'm so focused on the one I could see! I'll keep looking though - thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      There is two. Remember the picture that when you look at it you either see an old hag or a beautiful young woman? The same here. One face is so playful. The other just checking out the morning

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Whether you see a face or not, it is a wonderful photograph of a beautiful sunrise. The couple walking makes it even more special.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @adammuller003 lm: Oh yes! What were those weird things? I could never see them. I forget what they were called but I never got it :)

    • adammuller003 lm profile image

      adammuller003 lm 4 years ago

      What a cool lens! It took a few, but I see the face. It reminds me of those photos back in the mid 90's (??), where you stare at an image until it pops out at you.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @MariaMontgomery: I'm so glad it's not just me seeing things :)

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      It took me a minute, but I found him. It does look like a him, and not a her. I often see shapes in the clouds, too.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Flowerchild1946: It must have been wonderful seeing them from your boat. Thanks for visiting!

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 4 years ago from Florida

      It took a few moments and I had to squint a bit, but then I saw him! What a fascinating lens. Sometimes I see animals in the clouds - mostly lambs or rabbits.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: I saw him instantly too!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Of course I saw him right away! I always see faces and other things in clouds, by the time the other person sees it the image is already distorted as the clouds have moved...they look at me and say 'ya, sorta' with a strange look on their face - I want to say 'If you would have been ABLE to see it 2 minutes ago you wouldn't be saying sorta'!!!!Very cool!