Water photography: how to photograph reflections like a pro
As with most aspects of capturing water, you need to shoot under the right conditions to get the best reflections. There’s little hope of getting perfect reflections in water when it’s windy, for example, because the surface will be too choppy to see them clearly. Try to shoot on a calm day when reflections will be boosted.
Lighting’s important too. Ideally, the landscape and foliage reflected in the water should be brightly lit, but the surface of the water should be in shade to avoid glare reducing the reflection’s intensity.
Pro techniques to photograph reflections
Once you’ve found the perfect reflection to shoot, there are a few simple techniques that you can use to ensure that you make the most of it.
The first thing to think about is your shooting position, because reflections vary when you view the scene from different heights. You’ll often get the best reflections when shooting close to the surface of the water.
Once you have positioned the camera you need to think about the focus. Remember that the reflection is actually much further away than the surface of the water, so if you focus on the water, or an object in the water, the reflection may be out of focus.
Using a wide-angle lens and a small aperture will mean that you can keep both elements sharp, but the shallower depth of field you’ll get using a telephoto lens or a wide aperture can mean than you have to choose between focusing on the water or the reflection.
Finally, think about exposure. If you’re only shooting the reflection, and not including the surrounding landscape, watch out for bright highlights that will cause your camera to under-expose, especially if you’re shooting towards the sun.
PAGE 1: Water photography tips for freezing movement
PAGE 4: Blur movement like a pro for classic effect
PAGE 6: How to photograph reflections like a pro
PAGE 9: How to remove surface glare from your water photography
PAGE 10: Get creative with the fine details