Ep 75: How to photograph reflections

Photo-Ep075-artwork

Photographing reflections can be tricky, but they can also add another dimension to your photography. While some photographers think reflections are annoying, they can also be a creative tool that can take your images to another level.

In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss where to look for reflections, how to use them to your advantage and what you need to do to achieve the look you want.

Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio.

Show notes

Shout outs

Hugo Takes a Selfie | 8.5+ Years (via Ian Hulme)

Above: Scott Stokhaug
Above: Scott Stokhaug

 

Smart MacGyvers

Above: By Peter Foote
Above: By Peter Foote

 

Above: By Peter Foote
Above: By Peter Foote

Peter used the welding glass suggestion from the episode 73 (Filters). He says:
“Welding glass would have been a shade 13. On my then new pride and joy 1100D with kit lens in Coffs Harbour NSW. You can see the weird purple lens flare on the SOOC shot and how it cleans up with a B&W conversion. ISO200 f13 31s 18mm. I used a rubber lens hood and the old plastic duct tape to secure it.”

How to photograph reflections

Yes, there are annoying reflections:

  • Reflections in photographs can be really annoying for photographers
  • Highly reflective backgrounds wreak havoc with flash
  • People wearing glasses
  • Light bouncing of glass or water

BUT the right angle or twist in perspective and time of day can create a really beautiful image.

Here are some great examples:

Above: By Flo Fox
Above: By Flo Fox

 

Above: By Flo Fox
Above: By Flo Fox

 

Above: By Will Clayton
Above: By Will Clayton

 

Above: By Bill Hartmann
Above: By Bill Hartmann

 

Above: By Moyan Brenn
Above: By Moyan Brenn

 

Above: Gina photographed this macro reflection in a water droplet using a 100mm canon macro lens @F5.6 ISO 1000, 1/30th sec using daylight
Above: Gina photographed this macro reflection in a water droplet using a 100mm canon macro lens @F5.6
ISO 1000, 1/30th sec using daylight

 

Above: By Pablo Fernández
Above: By Pablo Fernández

Above: By Guido Gutiérrez Ruiz

Above: By Guido Gutiérrez Ruiz
Above: By Guido Gutiérrez Ruiz

Creative reflections in portrait photography

Above: Peter Adams-Shawn
Above: Peter Adams-Shawn

Cool idea from wedding photographer

 

Above: By Brian Snelson
Above: By Brian Snelson

 

Above: By Paul Domenick
Above: By Paul Domenick

When shooting landscapes

  • Shoot at F8 or higher for maximum depth of field
  • Fast shutter speed to freeze movement
  • Camera will overexpose so watch out for blown highlights

Look for different kinds of reflective surfaces

Water

  • Shallow will be the stillest
  • Large bodies of water like lakes and ocean are constantly moving so you don’t get that mirrored look

Shiny metal

Glass

Mirrors

Creative reflections in landscape photography

  • With landscape, images look really strong when they are symmetrical
  • Forget about the rule of thirds
  • High shutterspeed
  • High depth of field for maximum detail
  • Use a neutral grad filter
  • Throw a stone into the water to show ripples so it looks like a reflection

How to create water droplet macro

Above: Gina used a lily to create this macro ISO 1000 F5.6 @1/15th sec
Above: Gina used a lily to create this macro ISO 1000 F5.6 @1/15th sec

 

Above: Gina’s experiments with Macro Nutella
Above: Gina’s experiments with Macro Nutella
  • Macro lens
  • Drops of water
  • Flower or anything you want reflected approx 4-6 inches in the background
  • Dropper to position the water
  • Glycerine creates a thicker droplet (make your own with sugar and water)
  • High aperture
  • Bright sun hitting droplet will create starbursts
  • It’s easier to focus and work using a tripod
  • Focus manually because autofocus and macro does your head in
  • Fake flowers work well, you can’t tell the difference
  • Look for foliage that’s rough or course rather than shiny so the drops have something to grip on to
  • You can use anything as a reflection.
  • Shoot indoors because wind or a breeze with blow your droplets away and it’s really difficult to focus

Portraits

  • Mirror
  • Through glass
  • Shiny floor perspex or vinyl or high gloss paint
  • After rain
  • Wet the ground before a shoot
  • Reflected in a shiny surface
  • Sunglasses with flash reflected
  • Shoot through perspex

#ginachallenge #shinythings

0 Response
  1. Katrina Schubert

    Thanks for another fabulous podcast- possibly the funniest one yet! The mental image of Gina trying to wrangle ants in her garden is gold:-) You’ve made me want a macro lens even more now!
    Thanks as always, Gina and Val:-)

  2. She rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
    Though the streams are swollen
    Keep them Ants a rollin’, rawhide
    Through rain an’ wind an’ weather
    Hellbent for leather
    Wishin’ that Val was by my side
    All the things I’m missin’
    Good vittles, love an’ kissin’
    Are waitin’ at the end of my ride
    Move ’em on, head ’em up
    Head ’em up, move ’em on
    Move ’em on, head ’em up
    Rawhide

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