Project Description

For my creative project, I chose to demonstrate through photography how transparent glasses filled with water warp the appearance of the object behind them when looking through the glass. Differently shaped glass warps objects in a variety of ways. They may cause the appearance of the object to be smaller, larger, stretched, twisted, magnified, etc. The photograph I produced is designed to show exactly this and highlights their differences. While taking this photo I chose to use as plain of a background as I could find to emphasize the true focus of the photograph, the glasses and the distortions of the objects behind them. In order to make the ground more plain, I placed down pieces of blank white paper to avoid the patterns on the ground to take away from the flowers on display. I placed 7 flowers of different shapes, sizes, and colors behind the 4 glasses to use as the objects to be warped by the glass. My initial set up plan was to place each flower directly adjacent to one another, but I quickly figured out that with the ways the glasses warped the shapes, some of the flowers were not reflected through the glasses. To fix this, I had to move some flowers farther away from the others so that they would actually be seen through the glass which you can see with the photos I provided of the set up and the flowers without the glasses in front of them. I also struggled with the angles at which to take the photograph. I provided two somewhat different views of the glasses to allow the viewer to see how the angle at which you view the glasses changes the shape of the objects as well. You may notice that the the outermost right glass is the one that changed the appearance of the flowers the most with the different angle.

When comparing the photograph of the original flowers to the one of them behind the glasses, it can be observed that the flowers in the glass on the far left are pushed to the left side of the glass more and appear to have shrunken a little. This is due to the convex shape and curve of the glass. In the tallest glass, it is seen that there are actually two images of the same flower reflected in it. The one on the top is the same as the bottom except it has been flipped upside down. This is due to the concave curve of the glass near the top. In addition, the lower concave curve leads to the lower flower being shrunk. The glass in the middle right has multiple edges and corners, leading to multiple different refractions of the same flower through each section. The glass on the farthest right has an octagonal pattern engraved the glass while being concave and therefore magnifies and bends the flower into a combination of octagonal shapes.

We use glass in a multitude of ways similar to how they are used in this photograph. It is used in magnifying glasses, binoculars, and microscopes to allow the viewer to have a close up view of what they are observing. The way the curves of the glasses change the shapes of the flowers can also be seen in fun house mirrors, where the shape of the mirror warps the image reflected off of it. For these reasons, this photograph has mathematical connections to geometry, optics, and refraction.

Geometry is concerned with the properties of surfaces, solids, lines, etc. Geometry is an important part of mapping like navigation and astronomy. It can also be used in animations and designing. The geometry of the glasses changes how the object is viewed through the glass. The convex or concave curves will effect if an image is magnified or shrunk. The shapes in the glass lead to the object to be distorted to fit those same shapes as well. In addition, the appearance of the object through the glass depends on the original geometry of the object as well. Each of the different geometries present in these glasses changes the appearance of the object in their own unique way.

Optics is the study of sight and behavior of light and deflection. The geometry of the glasses deflects the original object, changing the appearance of the it in multiple different ways. The sole change in the appearance itself of the object through warped glass involves the study of optics. The study of optics is most known in our society through the creation of contact lenses and glasses to allow better eyesight. When we view the object through the water filled glasses, we are studying optics because we are observing how the image of the object changes as it is deflected through the glass.

Refraction is the phenomenon of light and objects being deflected in passing through an interface. It is mostly seen in rainbows, camera lenses, and binoculars, all involving how light is reflected and seen. When taking the photograph, I tried to avoid as much outside light as possible in order to allow only natural light to effect the appearance of the object. The deflection of the object can be considered a part of refraction. The natural light shining through the glasses allows the object to be warped in the way that it is. As the light passes through the glass, the portrayal of the object behind it changes.

In conclusion, as light shines through the water filled glasses, the shape of the glass effects the appearance of the flowers viewed through the transparent glass. The convex and concave shapes in the glasses shrink or magnify the flowers behind them. The edges and shapes in the glass lead to different distortions of the flowers through the glass. The changes in the appearance of the flowers are a result of the geometry of the flowers and the glasses, the optics and how the appearance of the flowers changes through the glass, and the refraction of light through the glass changing the shape of the flowers in the first place. A combination of these different types of mathematics is what explains the altered appearance of the flowers resting behind the glasses.


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