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Capture A Subject As A Reflection (Part 1) - Shoot water reflections

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Use a pool of water as a mirror to creatively shoot your subject

Description: Use bright props to capture some colour in your reflection

Use bright props to capture some colour in your reflection

Great shot secret!

As you’re likely be photographing straight down into a reflection, be sure to focus on your main subject, allowing your camera to expose for them rather than the bright sky behind.

What you’ll need…

Digital camera

We used…

Olympus PEN E-PL3

You could try…

Any digital camera

Cameraphone

What you’ll learn…

How to effectively capture your subject’s reflection in a pool of water

Reflections can makes for a very interesting subject, and one that can easily get creative with. They can come in all different shapes and sizes, from window reflections, water, or even more imaginative items such as jewellery and sunglasses, meaning that absolutely anymore can try out shooting reflections, wherever they are.

As well as being able to use reflections creatively in a photo, it is possible to use them as your main subject within a shot. Focusing on the reflection as either the majority or entire composition of your image can be a great way of experimenting with it as a focal point. Reflections can also offer a new way to frame another subject, whether this is a portrait or an architectural shot, and it’s a great way to step back from a basic composition and produce something a little more imaginative.

So whether you’re applying the techniques to home setup, or off out to capture shots at a local park, grab your camera and your wellies and follow along with these simple steps.

Water movement

Be sure to wait for the water to calm down, or even block the wind so that any ripples in the puddle don’t ruin your shot

Description: Water movement

Water movement

“Absolutely anyone can try out shooting some creative reflections, wherever they are”

Shoot water reflections

Tips to get the best from your creative image

1.    Composition

Before taking your shot it is important to consider what you want to achieve. Whether this is to use the reflection to frame the subject to mirror it in the water, or even to highlight the reflection itself.

Description: Composition

Composition

2.    Place yourself correctly

A common error with this sort of shot is to capture yourself with the image by mistake. Whether using a puddle, a window or any other reflection, be sure to keep an eye on yourself any try not to enter the frame without realizing it.

Description: Place yourself correctly

Place yourself correctly

3.    Shutter speed

Reflections in water are subject to slight movement and ripples. Although this can be somewhat avoided by shooting earlier in the day when the air is calmer, using a faster shutter speed will help to freeze the motion and keep everything still.

Description: Shutter speed

Shutter speed

4.    Perfect focus

To effectively capture your reflected subject, you need to make sure the camera is focused on your subject and not the surface of the water. Set the focus point to your subject’s reflection, but pay attention just in case the camera switches the focus.

Description: Perfect focus

Perfect focus

5.    High ISO

With this type of shot, you’ll probably be shooting on a dull day. Boosting your ISO will allow your camera to use faster shutter speeds, ensuring no ripples are visible in the water and you get a sharp shot. Just watch out of for grain appearing in your photos.

Description: High ISO

High ISO

6.    Creative shooting

Creative shots often work really well with photo filters. If your camera has an art filter or effects mode, try experimenting with effects like black and white, selective colouring, miniature mode and redo-looking styles to give your photo plenty of extra bite.

Description: Creative shooting

Creative shooting

 

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