#11 in the Judging a Photograph Series
You may sometimes wonder how to use reflections in a photograph, or whether to include one in your picture. Perhaps see if you can take the photo both ways. Nine times out of ten, the reflection will be worth including in the photo.
Reflections can be the best part of an image, or just an incidental extra. But the point to remember is that it will be quite large. Probably it is as large as the object which it reflects. With such a big thing facing you, you have to decide whether to include it or not. Does it merit all those pixels?
Find a Reflection in Many Places
I always try to keep an eye out for a reflection. If my eye is really taken by something and I want to photograph it, it is very easy to forget about the surroundings. Although I may want to move in tight to the subject, it’s probably better to get the reflection in.
You can get a lot of photo ideas from Pinterest or Google images for really great reflection photography ideas, but the point I am trying to make here is a different one. My point is this:
When you are taking a photo which happens to have a reflection in it, don’t accidentally miss it or crop it out.
Here I wanted to take a picture of a windmill with the red brickwork of the buildings glowing a little in the sunlight. The image is all about the windmill. But I would have missed a key part of the character of this object in the landscape if I had missed out the reflection. This mirror image speaks to its setting as a waterfront building.
On the other hand, the water is a big area, and if I crop out the reflection it is still a nicely composed image. What is the right decision for this photo – which you do you prefer? Let me know in the comments – I read every one!
Other places you might see a reflection that you don’t want to ignore:
- Something reflected in a window such as a face looking out or an item on the windowsill;
- Something you have cooked reflected in a smooth kitchen surface;
- Your family peering in a shop window;
- The clouds reflected in a car window;
- In a drinking glass;
- An upside-down photo of a building or tree reflected in a puddle;
- In a mirror – someone doing their hair or face.
Read the previous blog in the Judging a Photograph series here.
Read the Judging a Photograph series of blogs from the start here.