• Categories

  • Most Popular Questions

  • Recently Viewed Questions

  • Recent Answers

    How To Make a Digita… on What does a frequency of 100 H…
    Daigrepont on Can an earthquake cause air tu…
    Benedict on How did God come into exi…
    joshua on How does the human body g…
    Ian on How did God come into exi…
  • Recent Questions

  • Blog Stats

    • 2,209,359 hits
  • Visitors since 11-3-08

    counter create hit
  • Terms and Conditions

  • Warning

    We are doing maintenance on this site, so some posts may disappear for a short time. Sorry. Normal service will soon be resumed...
  • Pages

  • March 2008
    M T W T F S S
    « Feb   Apr »
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  
  • Archives

  • Meta

Why do you see a reflection in water (say, in a painting) of objects that sit very far back from the water?

Why do you see a reflection in water (say, in a painting) of objects that sit very far back from the water, like houses or a mountain?
Alison Cross from Argyll & Bute (Age: 35-44)

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. Hi Alison,

    I am guessing by your question that you believe that far away objects seem to reflect more strongly than near objects. This is not strictly true (light doesn’t remember where it has come from). It is true that light will reflect more strongly from the water surface if the angle of incidence is a grazing angle i.e. the light travels almost parallel to the water surface and is them reflected to be seen by your eye.

    So if we are standing next the shore of a very placid lake and we look at the water close to our feet (or the shoreline) we will probably see through the surface and into the lake (and see fish etc). If we look further out towards the middle of the lake or the opposite shore then we will start to see light reflected from the surface and hence we will see more of the objects above the opposite shore. If some of these are white snow capped mountains or white clouds or blue sky then we see these better than dark objects such as woods or a dark cottage. That is because the darker objects may not have enough contrast above the body of the lake to be visible.

    In summary, light hitting the lake surface at a grazing angle is reflected more and also bright objects are more visible than dark objects.

  2. The reason that I ask is because I travel by ferry a lot and have always been bamboozled by why I can see the reflection of trees on the hilltop reflected in the water when they are so far back and high up! One would imagine that it would only reflect things that overhung the water…..

    Thank you for straightening out a matter for a bear of very little brain 🙂

    AX

  3. No worries Alison, noticing things, asking interesting questions and making people think are very important steps in understanding.

    Reflection as a process can sound simple but how we see things around us is quite complex.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: