Llyn Cwellyn in Snowdonia/Eryri, Wales
Remember drawing random water colour dots on paper as a child? Then folding the paper in the middle, pressing hard and opening it to find a strange creation that often resembled a butterfly? Well, nature does the same thing with water reflections, only much more beautifully. The Rorschach inkblot test uses our imagination for psychological evaluation – so be careful who you share your observations with!
Says photographer Richard about his image above: “The conditions were perfect with no breeze at all. All I had to do was point and click. The reflection has not been tampered with at all – honest!!!”
Rotate the image left and you get a sad elephant. Or the back of a sabertooth tiger?
What do YOU see and what does that say about you?
This image looks like the classic Inkblot Test – what do you see?
Image: Todd Kulesza
No need to see a shrink if you didn’t guess the Willamette River in Oregon:
Like the popular children’s water colour activity, 19th century society was crazy about a game that revolved around the interpretation of inkblots. Before that, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli had played around with using a person’s interpretation of “ambiguous designs” to assess his or her personality. Often it’s just a question of perspective.
Take this pond reflection captured close to Bergen, Norway for example:
What do you see now? Two monkeys kissing or an hourglass?
Swiss psychologist Herrmann Rorschach was the first to develop the inkblot method systematically by developing a set of ten cards with inkblots and a psychological evaluation scale in 1921.
Today, the Rorschach test is ranked eighth among psychological tests used in the United States. About 80% of psychology graduate programs teach it and it is used in surveys and assessments by around 20% of correctional psychologists, 25% of psychiatrists in forensics and 80% of clinical psychologists.
We’ll show you 20 images, so let’s continue with our free association phase.
This pinball wizard can be found at…
Image: Paul Sapiano
… Disney’s California Adventure Park:
Here’s Munch’s „Scream” recreated in trees with red glowing eyes:
Image: Kamil Porembinski
Who would’ve thought it’s harmless Poniatowski Park in Lodz, Poland?
And, staying with famous painters, ceci n’est ce pas un museum:
Image: Anders Rasmussen
Oh yes, it is, the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, but not designed by Magritte:
Where the wild things are…
Image: Jurek Durczak
…crooked trees in Victoria, Australia:
The Green Giant or something more suggestive?
Image: David Paul Ohmer
It’s a fountain reflection at Eden Park in Cincinnati:
Did you notice anything strange about the picture above? Other than it still being highly suggestive. No? Then look at the water. It’s a fountain, right? So why are there no ripples in the lake from the fountain water coming down? Hmm…
Says photographer David Paul Ohmer: “This fountain kicks on at 7:30 am. Once the water rises I have to take the picture before it falls and disturbs the reflection below. I have about 8 seconds to do this before the water ripples arrive. This shot only lasts about 8 seconds all day.”
Wow, that’s what we call perfect timing!
Is this housing complex in New York’s urban jungle seen through a cab window on a rainy day?
Image: John Lewis
Nope, it was actually upside down; it’s reflected in a puddle:
Is this an ant with square eyes? Or an amoeba?
Image: Walter Baxter
Nope, it’s Baron’s Folly Pond in Fairnington, UK:
Serenity at Kokar, Aland Islands:
Phew, tough one. What do you think it looks like apart from double symmetry?
Midsummer sunset in Sweden at 10:15 pm:
Image: Per Ola Wilberg
Can you see the alien horse with ears, eyes and black mane?
One of the Ents from Lord of the Rings with wooden glasses:
Image: Thomas & Dianne Jones
Or just Salt Creek in Oklahoma?
Is it dark outside, should I take off my glasses?
Image: David Stowell
No, the Falmouth Custom House Quay near Cornwall, UK was just upside down:
A dude with an afro, bushy eyebrows and ample nose hair…
Image: Holger Magnussen
…or a serene Alster scene in Hamburg, Germany?
An ancient scripture role…
Image: Kamil Porembinski
…or castles built in the water at Plaza de Espana, Seville?
Beautiful composition with oak trees in winter in Hampshire, England…
Image: Jim Champion
…that shows why trees are called our green lungs:
An Ulsoor Lake reflection in Bangalore, India just turns into…
… perfect symmetry:
Do you think Scotney Castle in Lamberhurst, Kent…
… had Mayan influences?
A sunrise at Llyn Padarn, Llanberis in Wales becomes…
…an alien space invader with bushy eyebrows:
We could go on and on… But that’s enough free association for today. And what’s the verdict? Sane or insane? We’ll conclude with Rorschach’s words about the test evaluation: “The interpretation of a Rorschach record is a complex process. It requires a wealth of knowledge concerning personality dynamics generally as well as considerable experience with the Rorschach method specifically.”
Exactly, so this is all fun! If you can’t make head nor tail of our imaginative series, just watch the images as thumbnails and wait for the aha-moment!