Reflections in Photography
Are you fascinated by reflections? I am. And if you are, come and join me here.
Reflections Catch Attention
Among the things (aside from patterns) that usually catch my attention when I am with my camera, are reflections. There is something about reflections that always make me take a second look. I’m not sure though what that something is. It’s probably the symmetry that is created. The moment a reflection is created, it naturally makes a symmetrical pattern and patterns and symmetry are always naturally attractive.
I was inside an elevator when I saw my reflection on the mirror forming its walls. I right away turned on my camera (it's good I had it with me) and started clicking away. I just love this never-ending reflection effect!
What is a Reflection?
There are different kinds of reflection. There is reflection of sound or heat. There is also reflection in Mathematics as well as in Anatomy. And there is reflection of thought as in meditation. However, the reflection that I will be dealing with here is the reflection created by light and the formation of an image. This mirror-like image is called specular reflection in Physics.
If the reflecting surface is flat like a mirror or a body of water or a polished surface, then the image created is an upright image that appears to be reversed from left to right. If the reflecting surface is spherical however, the image formed may sometimes appear upside down. A curved surface also forms an image that can either be magnified or demagnified. This is the reason why curved mirrors are used in car mirrors or in double sided mirrors.
There was a photo challenge in an online photo website. The theme for the challenge was "photo of yourself taking a photo". I submitted the above photo as my entry. Although I did not win any price, this photo still got a citation as "editor's choice". This is usually the first phase in the elimination process. Since hundreds of photos are submitted everyday to this website, I felt elated when my photo got through the first hurdle. That's honor enough for me already.
The Beauty of Reflections
After I uploaded the above photo to my computer, I was right away reminded of the quote from the French philosopher, Etienne de Grellet.
“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good
therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can
show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me
not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this
- Etienne de Grellet
Mirror-image Effect in Photoshop
We can also create reflections using Photoshop or some other photo editing program. I tried my hand at this and below is what I came up with. Neat, isn’t it?
I did not realize it was that easy! If you are interested in learning how to do this, drop me a line and I’ll tell you how I did it.
Anyway, even if I can create mirror images with Photoshop, I still am attracted to natural mirror images or reflections and I keep watching out for them every time I go out with my camera.