Stuck for ideas for your 365 project? Find yourself looking around and wondering how you can transform your surroundings into a photo worthy of winning the weekly theme? Well maybe you should try a different way of ‘seeing’; we are here to show you how!

Photography is all about light, and how we see it can dramatically change the way we perceive a scene and ultimately capture it on camera. That is why I am going to talk a little about reflections so you can find inspiration and abstract images in everyday objects and familiar settings.

Surfaces that reflect can bend light and create distortion. If they are really good at reflecting light, rather than distorting an image, they act like a mirror, a great chance for ‘uncanny’ or trick type shots.

Wall Mirrors - it may seem obvious, but it is the way you use the mirror that you should think about. Move around it, stand at an angle to it - peer into the room through it! Get above it, look into it from below. Treat it like a window into a parallel universe. Then take it off the wall. See what the rest of your world looks like through this strange portal, taking it to random places in your home. Try placing it on the floor, or on a table top.

Windows - depending on the light, angle, cleanliness and quality, windows have varied reflective properties. Stand at an angle and make use of a polarising filter to see even more clearly what reflections might be there. Windows are especially good reflective surfaces at night, use a torch or lamp to illuminate yourself or your scene to great effect.

Surface Water - think bathwater, ponds, puddles, even an unassuming glass of water. Try capturing the reflection of a nearby window, a TV screen, open fire, your pet’s face. Anything that captures your imagination! Why not fill a baking tray with a small amount of water (the darkness of tray will help get better reflections) and set it down in different places of your home. Think of it as a portable puddle!

Falling Water - this might officially count as distortion, but with the right conditions, you can get some great shots trying to capture reflections of water droplets or even a fine stream of water running from a tap.

Framed Pictures - the glass has the same properties as a window when it comes to reflecting things, but the actual picture underneath can add another dimension to the picture you are trying to capture. Great for capturing subtle reflections of passers-by, (or a selfie) in art galleries too!

Pots, Pans, Spoons, Kitchen Foil and other random things - by now you have probably got the gist. Find a reflective surface, move around it, move it around you and take it for a walk around your home. Do remember to experiment. You will find lots of things with a surface that reflects its surroundings in your home, from the humble teaspoon, to a kitchen tile and even the family silver. It might even get you hooked on buffing up a super polished surface (or creating dirt or streaks for distortion) to get the photo you are after!


Once you have the bug for capturing reflections, you might want to get yourself a polarising filter, this helps separate what you want to capture from the object that is creating the reflection. Choose a graduated filter for greater control over the reflective reveal.

Changing your way of seeing is about changing the way you look for inspiration. By paying attention to detail, you can open up a whole new world of photography. I apologise in advance if you also get well and truly hooked!

Some of my favourite portraits have used reflections. These include:
A passer-by caught in the reflection of a black lens
A family portrait in the reflection of someone else’s mirrored sunglasses
A portrait a friend as reflected in a shiny pub table
A selfie at a ticket machine
A portrait of my son caught in a train window

The one that got away… Trying to capture the reflection of a train track in an eye. I just didn’t have the right equipment for the job!

So what are you waiting for? Go forth, experiment and share your shots with us in the comments below!

Photos courtesy of Dora Mendes, Emily Tull, Cathy Donohoue and Kerry McCarthy



Share
Comments
posted November 30th, 2012
Nice idea. Went looking for a water source todat and came across a lake 10 mins drive from my work. Took this shot this morning



posted November 30th, 2012
there are a lot of spoon shots on 365, heres mine:
posted November 30th, 2012
Its not often that you see the front and back of a cats head in one photo
posted November 30th, 2012
posted November 30th, 2012
I love this one because I grew all the flowers
posted November 30th, 2012
Reflection on Piano


through glass


water reflection


2 Reflections
posted December 1st, 2012


posted December 1st, 2012
This was on my stove's hot plate
posted December 1st, 2012
Jim
Here are my 2 reflection shots for this week


posted December 2nd, 2012
This reflection was done using my kitchen tap..

posted December 2nd, 2012
posted December 2nd, 2012
@suebarni that's a beautiful flower shot.
posted December 3rd, 2012
I had two recently:

posted December 3rd, 2012


Playing around at the Cape Town Science Centre.
posted December 4th, 2012
I have used my car roof to catch reflections and blot out an unsightly view... like here back in January when the sunrise was pretty but the building site wasn't....
posted December 5th, 2012
This is wrapping paper on my kitchen table being reflected in a silver ornament...and me. :-)
posted December 5th, 2012
I couldn't believe how clear the reflection was in this tree ornament.
posted December 6th, 2012
posted December 18th, 2012
This was one of my favourites from while back - I captured the reflection of the sunset on the windshield and bonnet of a ute (or a "pick-up" for my American compatriots).

posted December 30th, 2012

This is the town I live in
posted February 18th, 2013
I had fun doing this - no trickery is involved!
posted February 22nd, 2013
posted February 22nd, 2013
@diananorfolk used the oven hob for this reflection
posted February 23rd, 2013

early morning and still water created this one
posted March 1st, 2013
An interesting idea when a water reflection, particularly a puddle on the ground IS the frame, is to invert it. Wind ripples can add a little extra as well..




posted April 11th, 2013
I like these two very much:




posted June 9th, 2013
Thank you for using my balloon shot! That remains one of my all time favorite shots - ever.
posted August 5th, 2013
a car windscreen can be useful (even if isn't cleared of leaves)
posted August 6th, 2013
A couple from me

posted August 23rd, 2013
posted September 12th, 2013

Reflection in a sculpture, Cloud Gate or commonly called The Bean.
posted October 5th, 2013
I've got a couple, one I took recently on the beach -



And the other taken when I had just got my macro lens -

posted December 12th, 2013
This is sooc.The reflection was just waiting for me in a small pond.Then I flipped the image.
posted December 19th, 2013
posted March 25th, 2014
Here's a reflection I did earlier this month of the obligatory spoon SOOC
posted November 18th, 2014
Flamingo reflection:

posted May 19th, 2015
A lake panorama
posted February 23rd, 2016


a bit of accidental reflection today from the railing...
posted April 21st, 2016
I think I still caught his character even though I had passed him
Post a Comment
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.