Water from puddles to the Oceans is an incredible medium in photography. Still water has the ability to produce stunning mirror-like reflections. I took the above image at the World Trade Center in Montreal. The double staircase harbors a statue of the Sea-Goddess, Amphitrite. In front, a large table slab of black marble with water evenly flowing over it. The result, a symmetrical reflection of the scene.
Water reflections can be especially interesting at night. Textures and ripples in your water reflections add a higher level of reality and more depth to your image. Some scenes may necessitate the use of HDR techniques, don’t be afraid to push your limits to capture the image you want.
On a windy night on a reservoir filled with Snow Geese, your reflections can become quite abstract, yet the effect remains spectacular and enhances your overall image. This is a long exposure, over a minute. It allowed for the geese to disappear out of my scene and maximize the reflection.
September is a great time for Chinese Lanterns as many botanical gardens and municipalities around the world showcase them. Long exposures allow you to smooth out your reflections, while faster exposures reveal more of the water textures. Infrared is also a great medium to photograph Chinese Lanterns during the day.
Don’t be afraid to frame your reflections, it can be very efficient when it comes to adding perspective to your landscape images.
You can also better isolate your subject by framing both the real and the reflected image. This tunnel facing Notre Dame is a perfect example.
What you will need to complete your challenge:
- I almost always use a tripod, especially for night photography. A tripod will allow you to better work your scene and experiment with multiple types of exposures.
- You may want to use a Circular Polarizer Filter. It will enhance contrasts and will allow you to control the intensity of your reflections. Be careful as it can entirely eliminate reflections.
- An ND (Neutral Density) filter or a VND (Variable Neutral Density) filter are a great tool to help you acquire longer exposure times during daylight hours.
Your final image should have both the subject (People, Structures, Nature…) and it’s reflection on water. It can be captured as a COLOR, B&W or INFRARED image. I highly encourage enhancing the look of your image with LONG EXPOSURES and/or HDR. Don’t be afraid to be creative during your shoot or/and in post processing.
Coming this October, a month long PhotoChallenge for Halloween!
The rules are pretty simple:
- Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+, Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2016.
- The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.