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Practical Photography Series # 5 : Reflections

Updated on June 15, 2011

Reflection...it's like the inseparable shadow that used to follow me wherever I go.

I remember a story about a boy getting pestered with his shadow. Also the story of a lion who jumped off the river after seeing his own reflection, assuming that its his enemy. Or how about the wicked stepmother in a fairy tale who used to say, "Mirror, mirror on th wall..who's the fairest of them all?"

I thank the inventor who infused liquid mercury on a clear flat glass of desired shapes and sizes to make mirrors. We can now see what is our outer appearance.

Aside from the mirror at our home's salon, we can use the reflection on the water to capture something unique on our subjects.

Most of the photographer's subject on panoramic views involved almost all the elements of this world:

  1. water -reflects the color of the sky; can be a river, lakes or sea.
  2. land - can be mountains, hills or fields that is used as a barometer in determining the rules of third in a photo shoot.
  3. atmosphere -the huge, vacuum part that consists of clouds, unseen air and other elements
  4. light - without it, I cannot appreciate the beauty of nature or the subject I am shooting.

Mirror highlights and the sun

I have this sunglasses that I used one night for a random shots while passing the time and watching television.

Well, that gave me an idea to go out the house, next day and used it to reflect some views, after the afternoon rain.

I cannot focus much my camera, without seeing myself being reflected at the sunglasses. I've tilted it then did a series of shots and uploaded the album on my desktop computer. Then edited some of it for posting here on my photography series.

Since, it's rainy season here in the Philippines, I had to appreciate the reflection of the sky on the cultivated rice fields.

I did series of shots at different locations in the village, trying to capture the right ones, while avoiding the glare of the sun's reflection. It's tedious I admit; because I am also avoiding the glare being reflected on my eyeglasses (for astigmatism). I just did a series of shots then went home.

I cannot edit those reflections to make it clearer because the tint, color or saturation of the background will suffer. So, a point-shoot strategy was my main target.

And I nailed some good shots!

Reflection shots on Sunglasses

The reflection of my elder sister (Photo by Travel Man)
The reflection of my elder sister (Photo by Travel Man)
The reflection of the view outside (Photo by Travel Man)
The reflection of the view outside (Photo by Travel Man)

Reflection shots on the ricefield 1

Reflection of the mountain on the rice field (Photo by Travel Man)
Reflection of the mountain on the rice field (Photo by Travel Man)
Reflection of the sun on the rice field (Photo by Travel Man)
Reflection of the sun on the rice field (Photo by Travel Man)

Reflection shots on the ricefield 2

Cloud reflection on the rice field's water (Photo by Travel Man)
Cloud reflection on the rice field's water (Photo by Travel Man)
Rice field (Photo by Travel Man)
Rice field (Photo by Travel Man)

Reflection shots on the ricefield 3

Sunset reflection 1 (Photo by Travel Man)
Sunset reflection 1 (Photo by Travel Man)
Clouds reflection during sunset (Photo by Travel Man)
Clouds reflection during sunset (Photo by Travel Man)

How to save your photos

Reflection shots are inevitable especially when you're traveling on waters.

In my seafaring days, I've taken photos from different countries where we have our ports of call or destinations (for loading and discharging of cargoes).

Unfortunately, I cannot open my external drive and the alarm sound warned me that the computer cannot detect my connection. It's such a loss.

So, if I were you, I'll still have backups on recordable CDs or DVDs that I've done for some memorable pictures.

I'm still rummaging my CD/DVD wallets to choose pictures that I can include here for updates.


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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @DON BALDERAS: Hi, Sir Don! Truly, it's for us, humans, to appreciate the beauty of Nature that God bestowed on us. And appreciate more its reflections, too, while my mind travels from a not-so-distant happy memories of the past, or even some lonely one, too!

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Rusell-D: If only I have such powerful lens on my camera, I'll also try your suggested ideas. Yes, that E-L-C-L, I almost forget that acronym while in a Photography Class. There was no available camera for the class. We have to rent it at the local Photo Studio to collate or photo-shot collections.

      Thanks again, Sir D!

    • DON BALDERAS profile image

      DON BALDERAS 

      7 years ago

      I got intriqued by your REFLECTIONS. Great. People really have to see how beautiful life can be by looking into the simple joys we find in the beauty of nature mirrored in media we can always make meanings out of them. For truly life is amazing, it continuously draw awe from us.

    • Russell-D profile image

      Russell-D 

      7 years ago from Southern Ca.

      An old trick. Take a picture of what a photographer is shooting including the photographer and what he is seeing in his camera. I once found an old broken glass, and held it up reflecting what was being filmed. It was school graduation day in Japan, so the kids came to a special park for their class pictures. Works all the time, with or without the photographer's cooperation. Figure out before you lift the camera what and how. Taking the picture is easy when you're really ready on Exposure, Light, Content.Look. David

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Russel-D: Very good idea, Mr. D!

      Here's an anecdote: I was attending a friend's wedding and I cannot penetrate to take pictures, because of the official photographers who were blocking my sight.

      All I did was to focus on the "reflections" at the monitor of their video-camera. That's it.

      I've done something amazing.

      Some people got annoyed when I'm pointing camera at them. LOL!

    • Russell-D profile image

      Russell-D 

      7 years ago from Southern Ca.

      Having a visual in a glass - car mirror, trolley drivers's shield, people carrying a mirror through the street, is a great way to add interest to any photo. I look for that opportunity. I have a great shot from a Vaparatto in Venice. The rialto bridge is ahead with boat traffic and a large tug is reflected in the our boat's mirror. I've often used "reflections" to add interesting side action to the main interest. It's a fun thing to look for when you have the camera in hand. David

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Green Art: Thanks for the appreciation. Reflections relax my mind amid irritating things that happened during the past weeks. It's some sort of therapy for me. It did help, though.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Russell-D: Bounce-off reflections. Yes, I remember my instructor making an emphasis on that subject, especially during early morning and sunset.

      To note, I didn't include a reflection photo on the side-mirror of a car.

      I have lots of reflection photos at sea. Too bad, I cannot open my external drive (Western Digital) anymore.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @mib56789: LOL! Thanks! I am quite amazed by those reflections. So, I decided to include it here on my Practical Photography series. Collating data or photos were installed at staggered time. Not bad for my subject, though. I enjoyed doing it!

    • Green Art profile image

      Green Art 

      7 years ago

      I agree, you did nail some good shots. I especially like the "Clouds reflection during sunset" shot. Reflection photography is so fun because random and exciting things happen when something is reflected. Great hub idea!

    • Russell-D profile image

      Russell-D 

      7 years ago from Southern Ca.

      Lovely choice of examples. In commercial phtography, we chose where we want reflected light to work for us, such as bouncing it off a white card for a soft light on the subject. Sometimes, like you show we use bounce off "reflections". For example photographing a car just before sunrise or just before sunset and having its surface reflect a particular color landscape or street scene. Think of a car as a mirror, it reflects everything around it. Using light is fun to play with and important to understand. David

    • profile image

      mib56789 

      7 years ago

      AMAZING! And I thought only secret agents used reflections in their eyeglasses to catch people sneaking up from behind. (Smile!) Awesome photographs!

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @lazko: Thanks for liking! It's my past time to take interesting subjects in my surroundings. It hit me, why not reflections. After all, we can also meditate on the pictures and reflect on what we did in the past.

    • lazko profile image

      lazko 

      7 years ago from the Earth

      I like that hub! great reflection pictures!

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