As I'm sure most of you know, South Africa is in a total lock down for five weeks. I know many parts of the world are currently experiencing similar situations but let me ask you; are you using this time wisely? Remember, what we focus on outside, is a result of ones reflections felt inside.
During this time I have found myself thinking quiet a lot, reflecting, upon my past, present and hopefully future blessings.
Do you want change? Well, ones life is a mere reflection of your thoughts. In order to change your life, you first need to change the way you think.
Think about that a bit...
Right, so what you had just read and thought about goes hand in hand with ones photography.
Do you want a better, more diverse portfolio? Then change the way you think when out in the field.
One way in which you can do this is look out for those brief moments where mother nature reveals its beautiful reflections to you. It may just be that brief moment as an animal comes in to drink before it disturbs the mirror like water;
...or that moment as it casually walks by.
It can’t be denied. There’s something special about reflections that makes them a unique aspect of photography. Maybe it’s because reflections, just like photographs, are a gateway to another world, parallel but restricted. Also just like photography, reflections are a simplification of our world; they turn a 3D reality into a 2D representation.
Why photograph reflections?
Reflections have an immediate attraction to many people. They’re like visual illusions dropped into everyday life. They turn the world upside down, add a hint of confusion to a scene and show us things we can’t immediately see the source of.
Take a look at the two images above again, did it confuse you? Look closely and try and figure out, is the actual bird on the top or bottom?
See what I mean by adding a hint of confusion to a scene? I just love reflections!
For you as a photographer, reflections offer a way to create a certain atmosphere. It can be mystery and confusion, but also vastness, such as sky reflected in a lake, or calmness, as a reflection requires a relatively still surface.
The most obvious place to find photogenic reflections in nature is in connection with water. Wherever there is life, there is water, so the opportunities are basically endless. You just need to be patient.
How to capture reflections
Photographing reflections is pretty easy. It basically comes down to you being in the right place at the right time.
In saying this, there are a few things to think about, here are a few tips;
- Unless intended, make sure you don’t show up in the reflection. Change your angle and move around to find the best place from which to take your photograph.
- Framing is essential! Use the elements of the space you’re in to create an interesting composition and experiment to discover what creates the greatest effect.
- Lighting might be a bit tricky. For instance, in a picture of a natural scene reflected in a lake, the reflection is often quite a bit darker than the reflected scene. Use that to create an effect in your image or use filters to even out the lighting difference.
- Post processing can also help you to brighten up the reflection if need be.
I hope this blog inspires you not only reflect on life a bit more but to now also start shooting them.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comments below.
Until next time;