6 Creative ways to exploit reflections for better images
Reflections are all around us and in this article I’ll show you how to creatively exploit them to achieve different goals regardless of what camera, smart phone or tablet you use to take pictures.
The most straight forward use of reflections is to use puddles to capture a scene from a different perspective. Once you’ve spotted a puddle within or near an interesting location, you’ll need to walk around it to frame the scene. You’ll find that ducking, weaving, getting high or most probably low down will get you the most interesting results.
Puddles also provide an opportunity to create more graphic or abstract images like this one in London’s Trafalgar Square. I shot this on an iPhone 5 using my favourite black and white app Hueless. The same rules as above apply to finding the best perspective.
Reflective buildings or other surfaces provide a wide range of opportunities in much the same way as a puddle. Here we have an old building reflected in the glass of a new one which has created a pleasing abstract pattern. Keep a look out for scenes, people or the sky reflected in buildings.
I love people watching and reflections in car mirrors, trains, buses or car windows on your journey can provide great opportunities to capture people, self portraits and interesting scenes.
The picture above is on a London bus and I love the grey blue tones of the man and the bus which contrast with the green. The green combined with the smart dress of the man makes you assume a smart suburban location.
Mirrors especially old ones have a wonderful effect on people’s reflection and simply be placing your model looking into a mirror you have a plenty of opportunity to get a great shot.
Shooting people from behind glass can add a sense of place and / or atmosphere.
I love this shot, for me it has a peaceful, quite sense of escapism in what is a very busy and noisy environment. The girl is simply lit by natural daylight, but she pops out of the darker cafe giving her impact. You can achieve this regardless of camera or device by telling the camera what element of the picture is important to you. It’s called spot metering and it’s really simple, especially on a smart phone or tablet. Click here to learn more.
In this shot the reflections not only reinforce the sense of cool urban environment, but they hold your eye for longer, add colour to a slightly bleached scene and help define the curves of the car.
Also notice how much impact the car has, it almost punches you in the face. This is achieved by getting low and getting close. Click here to learn more about perspective.
In this shot called ‘reflected glory’ I was experimenting with tying two brands together to create an aspirational life style. The narrative for the picture is that your chauffeur is waiting outside in your Audi whilst you shop at Dolce & Gabbana. The sub text is that you’re rich, stylish and attractive which is reinforced by the two woman (actually mannequins) are looking at you and trying to attract your attention in the top right corner.
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