Photography project: creating abstracts with Mylar and mirrors

In December of 2017, Peter and I were fortunate enough to get tickets to the Yayoi Kasuma exhibit at the Broad.  She is the artist that is famous for her infinity mirror rooms, among many other things.  I am always looking for inspiration, and was wondering if I could create a repeating effect with lights without copying her infinity rooms.  It was supposed to be a simple project, with materials I already had on hand, it turned out to be a month of trial and error and frustration.  It ultimately culminated in me walking away from the images in January 2018, and only now returning to them, somewhat clear of the emotion involved in creating them.

I’ll walk you through my process, although to be honest, I’m not quite clear on how I created each image.  I tried so many things.  This is what I used:

  • Mylar:  silver and gold sheets (from the art store)
  • Fiber optic light
  • 6×6 square mirror
  • Homemade prism:  tape together three 4×4 mirrors in a triangle
  • 11/14 piece of paper printed with diagonal black and white lines
  1.  First setup:  Fiber optic light on top of the square mirror; shoot through the prism.  I had to rotate the prism around to get an interesting pattern on the sides.  Because the fiber optic light uses primary colors, I recolored the image in Topaz Restyle to give it a more subdued look.



2)  Second setup:  This time I placed the paper with lines on the ground and wrapped the mylar around it, and taped it.  I think moved the camera from side-to-side to capture different angles and reflections.



3) Third Setup:  This time I set the fiber optic light on the ground, and created a cone around it using the Mylar.  I left a small gap to point my camera through.



4) Fourth Setup:  In my last setup, I replaced the silver Mylar with the gold Mylar and wrapped it in a circle over the 6×6 mirror.  I had Peter hold the fiber optic light from above, pointed down.  Sometimes he would swirl the light (this was unplanned, he happened to be watching football at the same time, and would move and jerk as the game unfolded), sometimes he would hold still.


Looking back, its interesting how I started with a very specific idea, and then how it morphed as I let go of the original concept and started to play.

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