Jul 3, 2024
Strategies to Photograph Reflections

Photographing reflections can add depth, symmetry, and a unique perspective to your images. Reflections can be found in water, glass, mirrors, and other shiny surfaces, providing endless creative possibilities. In this post, we will explore the best strategies to master photographing reflections, ensuring you capture stunning and intriguing images.

 Photograph Reflections

Understand the Basics

  • Reflections occur when light bounces off a surface and creates a mirrored image.
  • The clarity and quality of the reflection depend on the surface’s smoothness and the light conditions.

Choose the Right Time of Day

  • Early morning and late afternoon, known as the golden hours, offer soft, warm light that enhances reflections.
  • Calm weather conditions, particularly with minimal wind, help maintain undisturbed reflective surfaces, especially in water.

Use a Polarizing Filter

  • A polarizing filter helps reduce glare and unwanted reflections from non-metallic surfaces like water and glass.
  • Adjust the polarizing filter to control the intensity of the reflection, making it more or less prominent in your composition.

Find Interesting Subjects

  • Look for scenes with strong visual elements such as buildings, trees, mountains, or people.
  • Reflections of colorful subjects can produce vibrant and eye-catching results.

Experiment with Angles

  • Try shooting from a low angle close to the reflective surface to emphasize the reflection.
  • Alternatively, shoot from a higher angle to capture both the subject and its reflection in the same frame.

Use Symmetry

  • Symmetry is a powerful compositional tool in reflection photography.
  • Place the horizon line in the center of the frame to create a mirror-like effect, or use other elements in the scene to achieve balance and symmetry.

Pay Attention to Composition

  • Use the rule of thirds to create a balanced and dynamic image.
  • Place your main subject off-center, and use leading lines to draw the viewer’s eye towards the reflection.
  • Consider the background and other elements in the scene to avoid distractions and keep the focus on the reflection.

Focus on Sharpness

  • Use a tripod to stabilize your camera and avoid any movement that can cause blur.
  • Use a small aperture (high f-stop number) to achieve a greater depth of field, keeping both the subject and reflection in focus.

Incorporate Movement

  • Capturing ripples in water or reflections of moving clouds can create interesting and unique effects.
  • Experiment with long exposures to blur the motion and create a dreamy, surreal atmosphere in your reflection shots.

Post-Processing Tips

  • Use editing software to adjust the contrast, brightness, and saturation to make the reflection stand out.
  • Remove any unwanted distractions or imperfections to create a cleaner and more polished image.
  • Avoid over-editing to maintain a natural and realistic look.


Photographing reflections can transform ordinary scenes into extraordinary images. By understanding the basics, choosing the right time of day, and using tools like polarizing filters, you can capture stunning reflections. Experiment with angles, composition, and movement to add creativity to your photos. With practice and attention to detail, you’ll master the art of reflection photography and create captivating images that showcase the beauty and symmetry of the world around us.

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