3D or 2D image in a Mirror

Main Question or Discussion Point

An explanation given to the question, "Why do I look different in pictures versus a mirror?", cited that in a picture one views a 2D image but in a mirror one views a 3D image. This difference can effect the depth perceived in ones face.

Is this explanation valid?

My take is that the single camera lens only captures one image while ones live two eyes capture 2 images allowing for a 3D render.

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Part of it is the fact that a mirror reflection is flipped compared to a picture. Hold up your right hand in a mirror and in a picture, in the mirror it looks as if your left hand is up.

Danger
Gold Member
If you ask a one-eyed person, who is incapable of depth perception, you'll find that s/he experiences the same thing.

K^2
That's because you can move the photograph or move relative to the mirror. Parallax is what gives it away.

If you were kept perfectly still and only allowed to look with one eye, you would not be able to tell a mirror from a similarly sized photograph.

By the way, just for fun, in which direction does the mirror flip images? A lot of people are confused about this one.

rcgldr
Homework Helper
In which direction does the mirror flip images?
Front to back.

K^2
I liked to ask this in optics labs. You invariantly get a lot of people saying left-to-right. Then I ask them what happens if you rotate the mirror and what happens if you rotate the person looking into the mirror. That usually leaves them thinking for a while.

in the mirror you see your reflection, your mirror-image, since ppl aren't 100% same looking left and right, your reflection will look a bit different than the real you.
(her left is your right and vice versa)...
it's like identical twins, most are mirror images of eachother, not the same looking...
that's a mirror

the photograph shows you as you, not mirror image
but yes, it does miss details, esp 3D vision, you're going from a 3D person to a 2D image,
that's not perfect either