Photography Tip Look for Reflections

Here is a general photography tip, look for reflections to add depth to your photographs. Reflections can add a new dimension to your images and can make a bland image compelling.

Below is an image I made at Albert Park Lake in Melbourne, Australia. This shot was taken early on a Saturday morning. There was no breeze, very still water, and high cloud. The cloud meant that the light from the sun was diffused and soft. The birds white color stood out against the darker color of the water. There were no distractions in the background or on other parts of the lake. The shape of the birds neck was very interesting, and the image was made much more compelling by the reflection of the bird in the water. Great!


Bird Reflections

White heron reflected in a lake

But it’s not every day that you get nice still conditions, a lovely still lake, no distractions in the background, and a cooperative heron!

So, where can you find reflections to add a new angle to your images?

My favorite places to use this technique are reflections in lakes, city buildings windows and building facades, puddles, trains and ferries, and sunglasses.

While this example is a wildlife image, this technique works equally well for other subjects. Think about these:

  • A bride reflected in the window of a wedding car
  • A street scene reflected in a city building
  • The Sydney Opera House reflected in the window of the ferry as you travel across Sydney Harbor
  • A football game reflected in a sideline puddle
  • The New York skyline reflected in your best friends sunglasses
  • Busy commuters reflected in the train window

The possibilities are endless.

It doesn’t matter whether you are shooting with the latest DSLR, your point and shoot camera, or your camera phone – this technique will still work well.

You can combine this tip with the tip to fill the frame with the subject for double the impact.

To help make average photographs outstanding, look for reflections.

Have you taken a great shot using reflections? What was it?

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