Photographing Reflections

When days gradually get shorter and temperatures get colder, we often spend more time indoors, and we may lose some of the creativity that tends to spike with the brighter seasons. Left with everyday objects and all-too-familiar surroundings, it’s easy to get stuck in a photographic rut. One way to remedy this lull in inspiration is to see the things you have in your everyday environment in new ways. Look around you for reflections that you may not have considered before.

Any reflective surface can be used to compose an artistic photograph. Try using water, windows, mirrors, hardware fixtures, or sunglasses to create interesting photos out of the everyday. In this case, a sousaphone close-up gave the image context by projecting a scene otherwise not visible in the photograph.

sousaphone-reflections

Big Brass Band! by peasap

Water is commonly used as a reflective surface in photography. Many landscape photographers rely on placid lakes to give their photos an added element of beauty. While you commonly see mountains and trees reflected in water, it’s rarer to use water to create an intriguing layered image of nature.

water-reflections

Desktop Wallpaper with Water Reflection by epSos .de

Don’t overlook the shiny surfaces of sidewalks after a rain storm.

reflections-of-christmas-lights

Christmas Reflections by Chris Obrien

Mirrors can be used in endless ways to create head-turning compositions. The mirror acts as a natural frame within the frame, and it leaves the viewer wondering about the things he or she cannot see in the image. And mirrors come in all shapes and sizes. Be aware of the mirrors in your daily life and try using them to make art.

mirror-reflections

Mirror Mirror on the bike…. by Nagesh Jayaraman

cat-reflections

gata no espelho by Wagner Machado Carlos Lemes

The inverted reflection produced by a liquid-filled wine glass is a popular photography subject. A shallow depth of field and well-planned composition can stop viewers in their tracks.

wine-glass-reflections

Optical Illusion?-Sunken City by Rachel Sarai

Window reflections look particularly chaotic and mysterious. Look for conditions that make an image that shows what’s going on through the window as well as what’s going on behind you, as reflected in the glass.

window-reflections

Reflections of Times Square by Jim Pennucci

Next time you’re at a loss for what to photograph, look around for surfaces that can be used artistically for reflection photos. Move beyond the basic self-portrait or still life and use reflections in new ways.

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Profile photo of Nicoal Price About Nicoal Price

​Nicoal is a New England photographer with a penchant for learning. Her work ranges from nature-inspired portraiture to outdoor product photography. Visit nicoalprice.com for more info.

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