6 Tips for Photographing Reflections

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Now I'm a month into Project 365, I'm starting to learn about the kinds of subjects that I enjoy photographing most. One of my favourites so far is reflections. My Day 22 picture provoked a lot of interest and has really got me thinking about the theme.

Here are a few tips for getting the best pictures of reflections:

1. Look up, down and all around!
* Wet paving on a rainy day offers great opportunities
* In the city, shop and bus windows reveal much of the world outside them
* Car bonnets can give you a fun and unusual shot
* Any kind of water - ponds, puddles, fountains - is a great source of reflection
* Mirrors, polished surfaces and shiny glass can be found in many places outside the home - doors, hotels, museums

2. Work your Camera Settings
* Use the highest quality settings you can to achieve really smooth tones
* Measure exposure from the reflection, which will allow the surroundings to be dark, bringing out the important bits

3. Experiment with Body Position
* Think about where you photograph from and try out new angles. You may need to get down very close to the ground or shoot from the hip to get the look you want
* Think about including yourself or others in the picture for added interest

4. Reflections on Water
* Keep your exposure short to freeze any movement
* Consider that whilst a polarising filter can make water look bluer, it could also remove some of the reflection you're trying to capture

5. Mirrors & Puddles
* Use maximum depth of field to ensure the sharp focus of your subject
* Use Manual Focus to get past the mirror to the image behind
* A long zoom and/or standing at a distance will help minimise the intrusion of your own reflection (unless you want to be in the picture of course!)

6. Post Production
* Increasing the contrast can really bring your reflection out and make it pop

Enjoy! For me reflections are a major element of the visual experience in a city, but are equally prolific in the countryside. Striking symmetrical effects and interesting interplays of light make them a really great photographic subject.

Here are some of my favourite reflection shots:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Claire, these tips will be very useful...I'm hoping to do a reflections series soon.

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