A still lake, pond, or puddle .. the reflections of solid objects in water ... that's been a favorite subject for countless painters and photographers. Capturing the shapes and colors of trees, rocks, and people in softer, muted hues is what reflection photography is all about.
- The best reflection shots happen with well illuminated subjects against a clear blue sky. That means the sun should not be in front but in back of your position.
- Its often more interesting to have something in the water itself be visible, either by sticking or growing out of it.
- Shallow bodies of still water make for excellent shots, including small ponds and even puddles.
- Use a tripod. Smooth out the water a bit with long (1 to 4 second) exposures. Stop down. Use f/16 or smaller for great depth of field. Expose for the reflection and then drop down on shutter speed.
- Polarizers are worthwhile when working with reflections because they help control the amount of reflected light you get.
In my Video Pick for this week, I wanted to show some photographs that Suellen, an otherwise unnamed photographer from Canada, shot on a beautiful Thanksgiving Day on Lac Philippe in Quebec. I was struck by her skillful piecing together of the shorelines in multiple images - the strong line emphasizes the strength of the real-life shapes on top of the shoreline and the symmetrical-but-shimmering reflection in the water below. These pictures, even though taken of a still and quiet series of reflections, show tremendous drama, movement, and color. So go out and take some water-reflection pictures to capture the natural majesty of this colorful season!