Reflections in Photography

By Mark

With all of the rain here on the East Coast this last week there have been puddles everywhere.  Standing water and glass provide an extra dimension for creating interesting photographs.  

I look for opportunities to use them whenever I am out shooting. In fact I even have a keyword for reflections in Lightroom.  Landscape photographers have long sought out still ponds and lakes as a way to extend the visual impact of their subjects.   

Early mornings, before the wind starts blowing are usually the best time to make this work.  You need to understand where the sun is going to rise in order to be on the correct side.  There are a lot of applications like “The Photographer Ephemeris” which can help plan your time and location. 

The numbers of interesting glass covered buildings provide more chances for catching both cityscapes and ethereal looking cloudscapes. This was a late afternoon thunderstorm brewing in Colorado.  It looks very menacing. 

Not all reflective surfaces need to be smooth.  This broken mirrored window provided a unique perspective on urban decay.

Don’t forget to look indoors as well.  My wife creates a nifty Christmas display in the corner each year.  I was able to use a shallow depth of field and create a nice Bokeh of the tree lights in the mirrored pieces.  

You can also create portraits using reflections as well.  This was one of our intrepid Photowalkers who braved the rain in Culpeper last week.  

Of course reflections provide a great opportunity for creative self-portraits.  Not those silly duck-faced selfies, but something dignified. 

Next time it starts raining, don’t despair, but instead start thinking about getting out and using those puddles.