Here's how

I take pictures of mirages with a still camera and with a video camera (in the picture). Both cameras have zoom lenses. When I "zoom" in on the mirage, it shows up better in the photograph. I also try taking pictures from different positions: high up, down low, a few feet to the left or right. Sometimes you can see a mirage from many viewpoints; sometimes they disappear if you move just a little up or down or left or right.

Then they say, "No, I meant how can you take a picture of a mirage? How can you photograph it if it isn't really there?"

Almost all of my friends I have talked to about this project assumed it would be impossible to photograph a mirage. "It's just an illusion, right? So it doesn't show up in photographs, right?"

A mirage happens when a bunch of rays of light take a detour on the way to your eyes -- or your camera. When you look down a blacktop highway, and see a pool of water in the distance, you understand the "water" you see is an illusion. The light rays that create that image, however, are real. Your eye can see them, and your camera can record them.

Back to your camera