Water reflection techniques: how to increase the impact of your landscapes

Water reflection techniques: how to increase the impact of your landscapes

Three must-know techniques for shooting a water reflection

Three must-know techniques for shooting a water reflection: find the best light

Find the best light
Use low-angled sun to capture warmly lit reflections in the cooler tones of shaded water. Avoid bright overhead sun. Use early morning mist to add interest. On overcast days, eliminate the sky and its reflection from the picture by framing tightly.

 

Three must-know techniques for shooting a water reflection: compose your shot

Compose your shot
For a perfectly symmetrical reflection, break the rules and place the horizon bang in the middle of the frame. Alternatively, place the horizon on the upper or lower third to emphasise different parts of the picture. Focusing on a rippled reflection will create an abstract image.

 

Three must-know techniques for shooting a water reflection: set your exposure

Set your exposure
Using spot metering mode, take an exposure reading from a middle-toned area of the reflection. Set this exposure in manual, or lock the exposure. Use an ND grad filter to balance the exposure. Set an aperture of f/11 or f/16 to maximize depth of field, then focus on the water.

How to shoot a panoramic water reflection

How to shoot a panoramic water reflection

When shooting landscape reflections, the image format ratio of 3:2 doesn’t always suit the subject. A panoramic format of around 3:1 can work much better. Simply crop your image in Photoshop.

Alternatively, stitch a series of frames together for a high-resolution panorama. Use a tripod and shoot successive frames with a 30% overlap.

Set the exposure in manual mode and focus manually for consistency. Use stitching software to form the composite panoramic.

PAGE 1: Best subjects and times to shoot a water reflection
PAGE 2: Three must-know techniques for shooting a water reflection
PAGE 3: Final tips for shooting water reflections successfully

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