I have to admit I’ve got a new obsession and winter is fuelling it to addiction-proportions, and no… it’s not red wine. This year I’ve spent more time out and about than any year in the past and with the showers that pass through Melbourne on a winters day I’ve been getting down and dirty shooting reflection shots like they are going out of fashion! They have crept into my travel and street photography, my landscapes and even my seascape. In fact it’s got to the point that on dry days (which seem to be happening far too often in my opinion) I’ve resorted to a little trick to make sure I don’t have to go too long without a fix of these mirror-like images. In this tutorial I want to share my best tips to capture these awesome mirror images without the need for maths/physics/boring stuff leaving you with less confusion and more amazing results and all you’ll need is a camera (even a phone camera will do) and maybe a bottle of water!
1. Use a wide’ish lens
Whilst you can definitely get some great reflection shots with any lens, a sure fire way to get spectacular images using reflections is to go wide. A wide angle lens gives you the ability to capture the reflection of the sky right through to the subject and really exaggerates the ‘mirror-image’ effect just make sure that the body of water you are using for your reflections is bigger than the diameter of your lens.
A wide lens looking into a rockpool at Point Lonsdale Lighthouse (image has been flipped)
2. Get close… and then get closer
To get into the nitty gritty a bit I’ll let you in on some basic reflection maths, the angle you are pointing down at the water body is the exact same angle you will be getting the reflection of. For example, if you are looking straight down on the water the reflection is directly up, straight back at you. If you get low to the ground however the reflection will be of the things directly in front of you. The closer you are to the water the more dramatic the small changes in height will make to your reflection.
3. Size of the water body
To get an amazing water shot the puddle/water body must be bigger than your lens but not by much! That means, you can get an amazing reflection image with just a tiny puddle of water. Wanting to get super creative? Take a water bottle with you on your next sunny-day photography outing and reap the rewards of some artificial puddles with amazing blue sky reflections!
This puddle would be no more than 1mm or so deep and the width of a single plank of wood but it still does the job!
A tiny man-made puddle from the water bottle
Early morning can be the best time to capture reflections as the air is normally much stiller before sun hits the land
Reflections can make pretty much any situation amazing and whilst there is the old ‘take-a-bottle-of-water-with-you’ trick the best thing to do is grab the rain jacket and hit the streets, beach or practically anywhere this winter and take advantage of these amazing wet and reflective conditions!
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