4 Stunning Ways to Do Reflection Photography
Reflective photography uses bodies of water, windows, mirrors and other reflective surfaces to enhance photographs. Once you know the proper way of capturing reflections in photographs, you can turn mere representations of everyday things into pure art.
Reflections can provide an interesting take on your subjects. They can present your subjects in a different light. Ripples on the surface of a lake can become an abstract masterpiece, while windows in a concrete jungle can exhibit an entirely different landscape. This art is a little more complicated than you think. But if you really want to produce breathtaking images of reflections, you can follow this guide.
Observe the examples, and follow their corresponding tips:
1. Landscape Reflections
Nature’s wonders are already a marvelous sight. But when their reflections are added into the picture, somehow, it makes the entire scene look sublime.
a. Be careful with light. The glare from the water can be pretty annoying if you aren’t capturing photographs at the right time of day. You should snap photos when it’s early in the morning or when the sun is about to set.
b. You can use a circular polarizing filter to control the glare from the water.
c. Use a tripod to capture sharp shots.
After sunset, you can play with city lights. The dark blue hues during twilight can encapsulate the lively environment of the city. This is the perfect opportunity to capture the reflections of city lights.
2. Mirror & Window Reflections
Shiny surfaces such as mirrors and windows don’t absorb light. They reflect light. And that’s ultimately why mirror reflections are never easy to do. If you don’t shoot at the right angle, the light might engulf your entire image.
a. Natural light is your best friend.
b. If you’re using artificial light, try to experiment in different angles. Find the best angle that minimizes the glare.
c. Once again, you can use circular polarizers to help you minimize and control glares.
d. Use flash wisely. Remember that mirrors and windows reflect light. Hence, when you use your flash, the light will only reflect back. And your subject will be enveloped in that light. If you have to use flash, use a big light source to even out the light in your setting.
e. When you’re taking mirror reflections, you often try so hard to find the right angle so your own reflection won’t be visible in the picture. If you have a tilt-shift lens, you can take photographs of mirror or window reflections without worrying about your own reflection being in it.
3. Puddle Reflections
The best thing about photographing puddle reflections is that you can capture clear reflections of your subjects. The stagnant water of a puddle will present you with a clear reflection.
a. Shoot from a low angle. Your camera must be positioned near the surface of the puddle.
b. You don’t need to use large puddles for these photographs. Once you crouch down, small puddles will look bigger.
c. Hold your camera properly. Don’t get it wet.
4. Abstract Reflections
Clear and crisp reflections are absolutely stunning. But the ripples, tides, and waves that distort those perfect reflections bring about an enchanting beauty that can’t quite be explained through words.
These movements are the natural forces in nature’s canvas. And it’s up to you to depict them in your photographs.
a. Capture movement in water. Reflection photography is often referred to as abstract art. And when you try to embrace the ripples and swells you see on the water’s surface, you will understand why it’s called so.
b. Bring diversity into your photographs. Try using several exposures at various shutter speeds.
Reflection photography requires patience, creativity, and determination. You won’t get the perfect shot right away, but you will eventually end up with one you really love. And when you do, you will realize that you’ve grown as a photographer.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Don’t be afraid to fail. But more importantly, don’t be afraid to have a little fun.
P.S Once you learn how to take good reflection photos, you can create photo books to culminate your hard work. You can earn the extra cash, and you can take your photography hobby to the next level. Check out this guide to learn how you can create your own photo book.