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'Shattered Perception' | Photo Breakdown

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

Dissecting an image to see what we can learn from it.

by Rodrigo Gaya Villar

The chaos of street photography is a sensory overload. Tight sidewalks filled with people, traffic, construction, those scooters running everywhere.

Little control of the variables important to photographers (light, frame, & action). It forces you to stay attentive to everything and nothing, at the same time. To find details that entice the mind/body/spirit, making an image, is art.

A place to challenge your preconceptions, what we think we know about the way we perceive our reality.

Street photography allows you to just create, and maybe make an image that can spark new life into your work or help fill out a portfolio.

Looking back on this, it's interesting this image was made just prior the the Covid-19 outbreak.


Camera: Fujifilm XT-2

Lens: Fujifilm 23mm f/1.4 (35mm Equivalent)

Shutter: 1/9000

Aperture: f/4.5

ISO: 400

Image Size: 4000x6000 (RAW + Jpeg)


It is essential to spent time reengaging with the fundamentals of your craft.

Street photography helps me refresh my mind if things become stale & repetitive.  This image 'reflects' that idea in a few different ways.

'Shattered Perception' was made during a lunch-break walk, with a friend. We spotted this shattered mirror on the side of the road, and I made an image just showing the full context. Didn't think much of it, saw it as a classic Miami moment.

Then my friend mentioned how cool it would be to see it up close.

Noticing the sun-lit building across the street, and the broken mirror on the shady side of the street, I focused on the reflection in the mirror and shot a few frames, making sure to grab a mixture of big and small pieces.

TLDR: The chaos of street photography is a great way to practice your technique and ability to 'feel' a moment calling your name. There's nothing fancy about making this image. Just a good reminder that in street photography, you may go out and get nothing, but if you are paying attention, you can get an image worthy of your portfolio.

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UPDATE: Hello to all the Redditors! Check out the post that went viral with 23k upvotes! Some say it describes the stress of the current times, some say it visualizes their mental health issues. Honored by all the comments of the image.

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