Make your images stronger and more interesting by using reflections in your composition.
What is a reflection?
A reflection is a mirror image created when light bounces off of an object onto a reflective surface and then off again to create the reflection. If the surface is hard and smooth like glass, then the reflection will be more precise. If the surface is uneven like a lake on a windy day, then the image will be more diffuse.
Why use reflections in photography?
First, reflections create a pleasing sense of symmetry, which we learned in Day 12 leads to harmonious, balanced images.
Reflections can create interesting visual effects, especially photographing a subject through a window with reflections.
Reflections also allow you to see your subject in a slightly different way, providing additional insight.
Reflections can also be fascinating as the subject of a photograph, leaving the original reflected object out of it. These images can have a very ephemeral, evocative quality.
Reflections can continue patterns in the main subject, making your image even more powerful.
Finally, reflections are visually very interesting and can create some striking and unusual images.
Where can we find reflections?
It can take some training of your eye to see reflections because unless they are obviously beautiful we have a tendency to tune them out. So carefully survey your surroundings and look for reflections. Don’t forget to look up, at ceilings and the tops of buildings, as well as to look down at the ground for reflective surfaces.
Water, as we talked about in Day 15 is an obvious source of beautiful reflections.
Windows and other glass surfaces also create interesting reflections. I absolutely love window reflections in photography, and I use them on my senior shoots whenever I have a chance.
Reflections can also be found in:
- A mirror. Try using a hand mirror or a car mirror for some images.
- A rain puddle. I used to have an indentation on my driveway that was a favorite subject for years.
- A polished wood floor.
- A glass ball.
- A raindrop.
- The iris of an eye.
- Glass or steel buildings.
#MindfulPhotoChallenge Day 18
The challenge today is to capture an image that uses a reflection!
Share your images on Instagram with #mindfulphotochallenge and/or #RefocusPhotoChallenge, and tag me @ goodhartphotography.
If you enjoyed this article, you might like:
- My full color 30-Day Photography Challenge Workbook here on Amazon.
- My Photography Articles Listed and Sorted by Type here
- My Mindful Photography Workshop here
- My “A Gossamer Thread” Newsletter about photography/creativity, productivity, and joy here
Photo credits: Daniel-novykov, christian-ladewig, demi-kwant, Juan-davila.