Should You Include the Reflection in Your Photograph?

#11 in the Judging a Photograph Series

Should you include the reflection in your photograph? On Falcondale Life blog. When you are taking a photo which could have a reflection in it, don't accidentally miss it or crop it out. Make an informed decision about using reflections in your pictures. Historic windmill by the water..

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.

Should you include the reflection in your photograph? On Falcondale Life blog. When you are taking a photo which could have a reflection in it, don't accidentally miss it or crop it out. Make an informed decision about using reflections in your pictures. Historic windmill by the water.

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.

Should you include the reflection in your photograph? On Falcondale Life blog. When you are taking a photo which could have a reflection in it, don't accidentally miss it or crop it out. Make an informed decision about using reflections in your pictures. Historic windmill by the water.

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:

  1. Something reflected in a window such as a face looking out or an item on the windowsill;
  2. Something you have cooked reflected in a smooth kitchen surface;
  3. Your family peering in a shop window;
  4. The clouds reflected in a car window;
  5. In a drinking glass;
  6. An upside-down photo of a building or tree reflected in a puddle;
  7. 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.

 

Photalife

12 Comments

  1. 4th April 2017 / 9:45 pm

    Some of my favourite pictures are photos with reflection. I always try to look for it in pictures. I always take so many seascapes and try so hard to get a good reflection. 🙂 xx

  2. 4th April 2017 / 8:32 am

    I really must give this a try, I must confess to focusing in the subject rather than what is around it at the time

  3. 3rd April 2017 / 10:56 pm

    I like both the images, and reflections are something I would like to feature more of in my pictures. They can be so pretty. You’ve inspired me to get practising

  4. 3rd April 2017 / 9:16 pm

    I love the photo with the reflection. It adds so much more to the photo. #MySundayPhoto

  5. 3rd April 2017 / 3:52 pm

    I found this really useful. I love seeing reflections in photos

  6. 3rd April 2017 / 2:40 pm

    I hadn’t really thought about reflection before, but you are completely right. You can really see the difference the reflection makes to the photo in the 2 pictures with and without of house and windmill! Another useful tips.

  7. 3rd April 2017 / 9:26 am

    I quite like reflection especially when it’s with water like lakes and rivers, but it’s always nice to have multiple options x

  8. 3rd April 2017 / 6:26 am

    I love it with the reflection! I’m forever trying to take photos of trees reflected in puddles, but they never turn out well!

  9. 2nd April 2017 / 6:26 pm

    I do prefer it without the reflection but I can see why you might want to keep it. Good tips!

  10. 2nd April 2017 / 5:49 pm

    I think it depends on the purpose of the photo: the reflection is perfect for showing the integration of manmade and natural structures whereas cropping allows the focus to be on the building and the beautiful design.

  11. 2nd April 2017 / 4:21 pm

    You are definitely right, the reflection adds so much to the photo #MySundayPhoto

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