April showers, anyone? Our Menlo Park offices got lots of rain this week. In light of the season, I want to expand on one subject I touched on in last week’s attention to detail challenge –  reflections!

Capturing reflections in your photographs can be a lot of fun! Sometimes you make the conscious, artistic decision to capture them and other times they seem to just pop up in your film as a pleasant surprise! Photographing reflections can come in a variety of ways, from landscapes to macros to portraits. You also have a few choices to make when capturing reflections. Remember when we talked about intentions? Are you capturing the reflection? Your subject and its reflection? Or, your subject with a blurred reflection?

Here are few techniques that will help you achieve stunning reflections.

capturing reflections in photographs

Capturing Reflections in Photographs

Week 15: 4/6-4/12

Depth of Field

Last week, we talked about using a shallow depth of field t0 highlight the details in your photos. However, when shooting a reflection you may need to use a wider depth of field. Start by using an smaller aperture with an f/ stop of 11 or higher. This helps keeps your subject and the reflection on the same plane.

capturing reflections in photograph


Your focus will depend on the look you are trying to achieve in your photo. If you are trying to capture your subject in the reflection, then you want to place your focal point on the reflection. You may have to focus on your subject first to grab the correct settings. Then refocus on their reflection.

capturing reflections in photograph

Angles and Lighting

Creative angles and lighting will bring your reflection photographs to life. Shooting direct light on water will create a glare. You want to make sure that the light is falling on your subject. Then, it will reflect naturally in to the water. If you start having problems with glare, you can trying using a polarizing filter. You also want to pick a time when your lighting is optimal, like during the golden hours. The better your lighting, the better your reflection will be.

The reflection in your photo will solely depend on which angle you shoot on. If you place your reflective surface horizontally or vertically, you will create symmetry in your photo. This can create a great mirrored image and add dimension to your photo.


capturing reflections in photograph


Start with Water, then get creative!

Water is the perfect medium to start with when capturing reflections. Fill up your sink, create a puddle with a garden hose, or head to your local lake. If your water isn’t smooth, use a slower shutter speed to smooth out the ripples. Once you nail your reflections with water, try using shiny metals, mirrors, windows, and even sunglasses for your reflections!

You don’t have to go searching for landscape near water bodies to capture reflections. There are many opportunities around you for reflection photos. Be creative! Make sure you share your reflection photos on Facebook.


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