Photographs of Mirrors on Easels that Look Like Paintings in the Desert

Daniel Kukla is a photographer who had formal training in biological and anthropological sciences. His educational background plays a major part of his artistic practice, and this can be seen in his clever project titled, The Edge Effect.

In the description and explanation of the project, Kukla writes,

In March of 2012, I was awarded an artist’s residency by the United States National Park Service in southern California’s Joshua Tree National Park. While staying in the Park, I spent much of my time visiting the borderlands of the park and the areas where the low Sonoran desert meets the high Mojave desert. While hiking and driving, I caught glimpses of the border space created by the meeting of distinct ecosystems in juxtaposition, referred to as the Edge Effect in the ecological sciences. To document this unique confluence of terrains, I hiked out a large mirror and painter’s easel into the wilderness and captured opposing elements within the environment. Using a single visual plane, this series of images unifies the play of temporal phenomena, contrasts of color and texture, and natural interactions of the environment itself.

We love how the photos look like they’re of paintings of the desert placed within the desert.

You can find the rest of the photographs in the series over on Kukla’s website.

The Edge Effect by Daniel Kukla (via Junkculture)

P.S. Here’s an idea we just had: What if you combined this idea with long-exposure star trail photography? You could have the mirror in the photograph showing beautiful star trails!

Image credits: Photographs by Daniel Kukla

  • destroy_all_humans


  • Oskar?

    That’s really great!

  • Lise Griffiths

    How weird and cool! I love the sky one :)

  • Richard

    Ditto above: Brilliant idea, beautifully executed.

  • mcrumph

    I like them but they actually look like mirrors, not paintings. I like the night sky shot the best.

  • dooood

    i think you use the same mirror and easel every time…

  • Steven Davis

    that is a really cool idea I just wish it was better done. Tips, work
    with DOF and use a longer lens while standing further back not much is
    in focus, instead of keeping the easel in its original orientation try
    tipping it down so you don’t have to show the ground so much as it is
    boring and flat, try getting the reflection in focus instead of the
    frame it makes it look as tho the reflection is just poorly painted. I know you can do it I have faith in you.

  • subjective

    A couple thoughts: obviously art is subjective, but if you read Daniel’s description for the works, you’ll learn that his images are to juxtapose the merger of two landscapes in the Joshua Tree National Park. By showing the ground around the easel, he’s intentionally giving you the landscape of one that surrounds the landscape of the other. If you look at the subjects closely in the mirrors, many are mountains — that’s because he’s showing you a completely different part of the park. You see two completely different locations and landscapes at the same time – on purpose. The lack of depth-of-field is to support that. And the photos have high clarity and strong color saturation.. again, seemingly on purpose.

  • Dwtex

    Art, rather than technical excellence was the intent here. Some people can see it others won’t.

  • Michael Reed

    Thats really cool.

  • Charyl Idia

    Yeah I think I’m totally over the mirror idea now.. Bit of a snooze fest now

  • Kev Beardsley

    Well i think that they look great. Keep being creative…

  • Gary

    brillian idea. lousy eecution.

  • shari

    Very Beautiful and creative.

  • Paul Kostro

    Thank you — this is very interesting.

  • Jack

    This is not a new idea, but was done earlier by another photographer.

  • molly

    i think these are really cleaver. i really like them

  • Lolit Cabilis

    awesome works

  • Dentist Austin Chicago

    That’s pretty neat. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ray

    I just beat myself reading you’r comment..thank you subjective…you have trully opened my eyes..haven’t been this excited about photography since the first time I went on Ken Rocks page..Thank you again.

  • Velasquez’ Ghost

    Have you ever seen a painting? Have you ever seen a painting that looks like the images shown in the mirrors?

    Looks like reflections in mirrors, to me.

    That doesn’t detract from the pictures. There is, however, no reason to say they look like paintings in the desert.

  • Rashad Penn

    Love it, I dont like to copy other photographers but this gave me some interesting ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  • Travel in Pixels

    Great way of capturing your work with the surroundings which you are capturing

  • satheeshsoft

    What an Idea ?

  • Marry Root

    If you think Peggy`s story is impressive…, last pay cheque my uncle also brought home $9499 working a fifteen hour week from home and their neighbor’s ex-wife`s neighbour has been doing this for eight months and got a cheque for over $9499 part-time on there labtop. follow the instructions at this address… jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • ricketypix

    then a mirrored image of nudity becomes art and is know longer received as porn

  • casey blackburn


  • ClancyTheAmazon

    Very interesting concept. Looks Great! Congrats Very Nice Idea!

  • Linda W. Morrow

    If you think Stephanie`s story is terrific,, 4 weeks ago my mom
    basically got paid $7532 workin a fourteen hour week from there
    apartment and there roomate’s mother`s neighbour did this for three
    months and errned over $7532 part-time at their pc. follow the advice on
    this link, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • Clive Mainwaring

    On Reflection Very very Good.

  • Kelsey Apley

    Very pretty pictures here!!!!

  • Elle

    Those are way cool! I never would of thought of doing something like that.

  • WorldTraveledFamily

    I love these photos. They’re a bigger take on the classic side view mirror shot that many people do when the sun is setting.

  • Morrison Luke Smith

    The mind of an artist never ceases to amaze me.
    Very cool

  • Lumaca Moderno

    Very interesting indeed :)

  • 2PRO –

    I love it, it’s very coll

  • Jessica Hill

    What a brilliant idea! Stunning photos – and mirror images.

  • james

    that…….is awesome.

  • Calisthenics Kingz Associate


  • Catherine Hayford

    Very cool


    the paintings are beautiful

  • Rob Andrew

    Killer idea! One of those “why didn’t I think of that?” type of things.

  • Guest

    Killer idea!

  • liam hackney

    awsome so awsome

  • Tim Todd

    Looks like mirror images are becoming the new fad. I’ve been doing this since the early 70’s and have always enjoyed it. Did a whole series I called “Nature’s Vanity”. Guess it’s time to dig them out of their boxes.

  • BrokenPencil

    Most work as been done by someone else.

  • Fluffybottom


  • l12a

    Lovely Photos

  • Olivia A.


  • BBakeca

    great work!