#875. Funthropomorphism Challenge results !

By pascaljappy | How-To

Jul 10

Pareidolia: “a psychological phenomenon that causes people to see patterns in a random stimulus. This often leads to people assigning human characteristics to objects.”

Remotely familiar

It’s freakish how often our brain assembles pieces of a scene into something different than it really is. Particularly in peripheral vision. We turn around, and the object isn’t really there. It’s also strange that when we do find objects that evoke something else, they are not that easy to photograph because the effect can be highly personal. And fleeting. And not as obvious inside a frame. And they can be harder still for others to see in our photos. There’s nothing there … and suddenly there is. And you can’t unsee it anymore. A direct dive into our brain’s internal plumbing?

For this challenge, there were slightly fewer submissions than usual. Probably for that reason (or else, you didn’t find it as inspiring). All the more reason to thank those who did send in something. Thank you. And let me try to find something more collectively interesting for next month!

I was stunned to see how abstract and imaginative some of your work was … my pics are basically objects that look like faces. Others on this page must have been much more difficult to find. Kudos!

Before we start: it’s customary for me to forget someone … And this could be compounded by my recent prolongued absence and the subsequent email tidal wave, and the site rework which has taken my mind off actual posts for a little while. If you’ve been forgotten, just let me know in the comments (the contact form doesn’t work yet, oh hum) and I’ll correct my mistake immediately. Apologies in advance, it’s really nothing personal (well, apart from my personal lack of organisation when it comes to these challenges). Oh, and if you forgot to send, there’s still time. I’ll add your pics as well 🙂


Philippe Berend


Philippe adds: “Some images would have have been too easy to be real fun, like a nice Austin-Healy Frogeye. Anthropomorphic, definitely, but fun? On the other hand, finding a face not on a wall, but in a wall, and a barred wall at that, is unexpected…


Another unexpected place to find anthropomorphism is a rotting flower. A rose, no less. It instantly reminded me of Scarecrow’s (a.k.a. Jonathan Crane) face in in Batman Begins.

Sea Lion

Lastly, a sea lion. Pascal shares my view of the very substantial beast’s identity. However, he sees it as lazily basking in the sun. Whereas I see it as quietly waiting for a delicions seal to show up in time for the next meal… This may explain why Pascal is so fit an trim and I…. not.

Invitation to the Waltz

And last one, as a representation of Weber’s music”


Sarah Caldwell

Waterfall fun…….West Coast , New Zealand
“Caspar the friendly ghost”… Omarama, South Canturbary NZ
“I see an angel” …….Omarama, South Canturbary NZ

3 superb photographs from Sarah. In the Friendly ghost (2nd image) I also see a dragon. What is it with me and dragons? And what fantastic views of New Zealand. Workshop anyone? 😉


Stephen Cysewski


Brilliant! I see a female orc face at top left with a torso and prominent bosom below, then a squarish dress below. My wife sees a pair of eyes where I see breasts … Does it get more subjective? 😀


Michael Fleisher


Michael explains: “Here are 3 photos from a project I did a few years ago, although a little spooky, on finding faces in Streams & Seawater. Actually seeing/finding them takes some practice given the nature of water being – well, fleeting!

Trying to record them as they appear is also quite a challenge since you only have a split second to see/record what turns up in the viewfinder, including a shutter lag of… approximately 44ms!!

Welcome to the Liquid Transformation Series.”

Liquid Transformation I.
Liquid Transformation II.
Liquid Transformation III

That middle photograph is just stunning. The first and last are hilarious … once you see it 😀


Pascal Jappy

Attack of the binja
Alberto Snailometti was here
Hulk saaaad
You only love me for my money
Frenching ze smoo-oooooch
Spirit of Extasy
Who you gonna call ?
I say, there, young viewer …

Pascal adds: “Is it at all worrying that my creativity is much higher when the subject is schoolboy humour?”


Bob Kruger


Wow, the second one is .. nuts (sorry, it cracked me up, oops, sorry). But the first and third … just wow!


Werner Mäder


Werner adds: “In 2017 at the beaches of Vietnam I shot a series of pictures called «Strandsand», microlandscapes of forms and structures created by wind and water. I used 5 of these photographs at the Photo 18 here in Zürich. One of the visitors started to talk about the «Lion»-picture – and it was then that I saw it too. Since that moment whenever I look at the picture I cannot prevent to see the lion head in that I did not recognize before.”

I see the lion at bottom middle, and snakes or Chinese dragons all around it 🙂


Steve Mallett



Steve adds: “A couple of pics of the rocks just above our house. The Rockface is a dead ringer for a very old and now deceased pal. I can’t swear to it but I don’t think I noticed it at all until after he died! Spooky.”

All I can think to reply is: Wow!


Sean O’Brien


My reply to Sean: “They are all nice and the third is really funny. But I particularly love the first. It feels like something Dali might have painted or Philipe Halsman might have photographed :)”


Pascal Ravach


A cross between Maz Kanata and Kermit? Actually a great photo …


Lad Sessions


Lad writes: “What is it? It’s a simple paint stripper, rather well-worn and apparently astonished at the world.”

A baffled leonine stripper. You don’t see that often 😀


Kristian Wannebo

Kristian explains : “When walking through a protected forest one tends to see eyes everywhere, but when you turn your head there is nothing – the unseen’s way of distracting us from noticing their eyes … they do their very best to stay away from our civilization.


Once in a while one is lucky, but they have a way of blurring your eyes, strange that also the photo was blurred! Looks like a forest troll taking a look out from a pine tree – probably a female, a male would have a rather larger and knobbly nose.


A stone troll peeping out through a cellar window, again probably a female, consider the small nose. Strange that I could grabb the shot unblurred. – – – (The truth will out in the end, the pine tree photo was just a failed experiment in blurring, but then maybe it wasn’t…)”

The stone troll took me a while but can’t be unseen, now!! The first is fascinating as it illustrates the frustration in finding the eye, then losing it again, and finding it … excellent 🙂 It’s interesting because our peripheral vision is blurry, too.


Next month

Thank you again for your time, and for sending those in!

Given the summer in the Northern Hemisphere (sorry Pete) how about “Heat” as the next topic? Just “Heat”, you interpret the upper case and quotation marks, if you feel like it. Or just heat … Whatever catches your fancy and triggers your shutter. There will be reminders in future Monday Posts.

All the best.


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  • Sean says:

    Hi Pascal,
    Thank you very much for including my images for your/the DearSusan “Funthropomorphism Challenge” post – it’s appreciated.
    I place all of the chosen images, on an equal footing, that have been submitted by their respective authors.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Sean, thank *you* for sending them. I really find the first one fantastic. Even the two dark figures on either side help frame the face. Beautiful 🙂

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    LOL – I must admit this was a pleasant posting, and indicative of the creative genius of the various contributors.
    Kristian’s “eyes” remind me of a painting one of my nephews did, at the age of 5 – it looked to me like a very expensive piece of modern art – and the artist proudly informed that it was a scene in a magic forest, capturing the spirits of the trees.
    Sean’s second photo caught my eye for quite the wrong reasons – as a former heavy smoker, who gave up decades ago, my punishment for all the years I spent puffing smoke for other people to breath is that I am now allergic to cigarette smoke – one of life’s ironies, and a fitting punishment. So I’m in full support of NO SMOKING signs.
    Werner’s also caught my eye for quite the wrong reasons – my birthday is in 4 weeks time, which of course means I am a full blooded Leo!
    Yours, Pascal, is possibly a reflection of your place in time – post impressionist, post cubist and modernist – verging on space age stuff, Star Wars etc.
    Michael’s is extremely creative and unexpectable. Highly impressed by these photos! They would make a powerful tryptic, on any lounge room wall.
    Stephen – you ought to have known it would get you plenty of stick from any woman nearby – especially the one that you’re married to. In any group of males, roughly 98% would think “breasts” – just as the first thing they look at when a woman approaches is “breasts”. Which is kind of fascinating for a different reason – because roughly 10% are gay, so intuitively you might expect the percentage to be lower. The other 2% doesn’t count, for two reasons – one, because statisticians expect a sample taken from a population base, with a sufficient random sampling technique, will produce a “bell curve” with a “normal distribution” – meaning that 95% of those sampled will be in the beta section of the curve, and the aberrations will appear in two small 2.5% portions (one on either side of the bell curve), representing “the exceptions that prove the rule”. Or in this case, the 2% of the population who are blind.
    And Philippe! The photo I’d give the golden bicycle award to is your first shot. It ticks all the boxes – SOOC, I imagine – colours – composition – the “eye” = (for me) shooting with available light – creative imagination – it is them all.

  • Steve Mallett says:

    What an extraordinary set of images. Amazing how we see the world.

  • What fantastic results to the challenge! From the humorous to the mysterious everyone knocked it out of the park!

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