- Arts and Design
The Face in the Clouds
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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