Easel Mounted Mirrors Smack of Paintings in the Desert

Fascinated by the ecological Edge Effect, which is the border formed when two contrasting ecosystems are found side by side, photographer Daniel Kukla was inspired to capture real world examples in a way that ecology text books have never thought to do. After granted an artist’s residency by the United States National Park Service, Kukla hiked a large mirror and easel out to Joshua Tree National Park; the Southern Californian park is a perfect example of the Edge Effect where the high Mojave desert meets the low Sonoran desert. He placed the mirror in positions that highlight the contrasting environments and also the sky’s transition from day to night.

According to Kukla:

I’ve always been fascinated by the natural sciences and this is what drives most of my projects. I approach making images in a very methodical fashion, which is very much the foundation of most scientific pursuits. I spend a large amount of time researching my subject matter before even approaching it with a camera…The sciences are all about asking questions and my art allows me to investigate the world around me.


The Indianapolis born freelance photographer received his BSc in evolutionary ecology, biology, and evolutionary human anatomy from the University of Toronto and went on to study at International Center of Photography in New York City where he currently resides. He was interviewed by Guernicamag about “The Edge Effect” series, has shown his works all over the globe, and been published in New York Times, The Washington Post, and National Geographic among others. See more of the works that incorporate both of Kukla’s areas of expertise on his website and follow him on Twitter for the latest updates.

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