One of the inspirations for Occultus was a news item I happened to see in 2011. The story was about what appeared to be a magical city that had appeared out of nowhere in China. Witnessed and photographed by many people the city that materialised seemed to have buildings, temples and trees. The city appeared and vanished quickly.
This stunning mirage that appeared above the skyline after heavy rain on the Xin'an River in East China, seemed to rise from nowhere. Many who saw the glittering mirage believed some sort of vortex had opened revealing a hidden city.
The scientific explanation for this spectacular phenomen was that it occurs when moisture in the air becomes warmer than the temperature of the water below. When sun rays cross the colder air into the warmer air the rays refract or bend. This refraction creates a reflection in the air.
Many felt that the so called mirage appeared to be reflecting something that didn't exist, hence the notion it was infact some unknown city appearing.
I found this entire story and the resultant images enchanting and infact it served to inspire the opening paragraphs of Occultus.