Final tips for shooting water reflections successfully
Use a grad filter
Reflections are darker than the main subject, so you need to use a neutral-density graduated filter to balance the exposure. Make sure you line up the filter so that the darker part of the filter covers the subject, with the clear part over the reflection.
Some reflections can be enhanced by using a polarising filter to reduce unwanted glare from the water surface. Rotate the filter until you see the best result – but be aware that sometimes the shot might be better without it.
Keep it level
When shooting reflections, avoid wonky horizons and sloping water by using a hotshoe-mounted spirit level – or use the one built into your camera if it has this function available. Always mount the camera on a tripod to keep it nice and steady.
Generally, the lower your shooting angle, the more of the reflection you’ll be able to see. Set your tripod up with the legs at minimum height, and shoot from the water’s edge. You’ll find that Live View is a good alternative to using the viewfinder.
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