I Can’t Help It … Pareidolia


Hammered Shield Lichen Parmelia sulcata

I never saw the ‘face’ at the time of taking this photograph. It wasn’t until I got it on the PC screen that it was there in profile with its pointed chin, blunted nose and dark staring eye. Apart from looking like a face it is Hammered Shield Lichen (Parmelia sulcata) growing on a rotting branch.


Ghosts In The Weir

Ghosts In The Weir

I see the white wisps of a great horse being swept along on a rolling wave.

I see a young lost soul looking out from a dark hollow shaped like a heart.

I see the rippling spine of a soaring Snow Dragon as it swoops and glides by.

I see an ancient stone colossus peering through the misty curtain of time.

What do you … see …?

Ghosts In The Weir

These were amongst my first experiments with shutter speed and water. And I suppose my imagination can get the better of me sometimes 🙂


November 2016, local canal, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman

The Guardian of The Wood

When I first came across this naturally formed, arboreal statue in one of my local woods, I instantly saw it to be a visage, a face. It is on a well-trod dirt track which is on the outer edge of the wood and overlooking a field, in fact the field in the previous post with the golden Oilseed Rape. The Guardian, I would come to call it, looks down from its lofty perch as if surveying the woods from its vantage point. It’s a very old, well-established tree, and perhaps centuries have passed it by, and maybe that’s why the face somehow looks wisened, knowing.

I know the scientists call it ‘pareidolia’, which is where we can see faces, animals, etc, in everyday things like trees, clouds, even buns, or on the surface of Mars. It’s the way our brains work and make sense of things, imagination, if you like, but to me its kind of magical, and I often see faces and animal shapes in tree forms and clouds.

And if I look closely enough now, I can even see smaller, differing forms and faces rising from the deep lined bark of the Guardian of The Wood.

How about you?

Photographs taken May 2014, local wood, Staffordshire.