Getting Creative with Reflections – by JJ Michael

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Building Reflections

The rainy season in Bangkok will soon be upon us, which is a great time to get creative with your compositions. After a big rain there are plenty of opportunities to create interesting images using reflections from the puddles (or sometimes rivers) in the streets.   Typically your reflection images should be fairly symmetrical so that the object being reflected and the reflection itself are equally distributed in your image.  In order to accomplish this you may need to change your viewpoint by either crouching down low or possibly getting up high on a bench or some other elevated surface.

The “rules” of photography exist for a reason.  When followed correctly they can result in engaging and beautiful images.  But rules are meant to be broken.  Try getting creative with your reflections by only photographing the reflection itself and then flipping the image vertically using Lightroom or Photoshop.  By flipping the image vertically the viewer is able to see the object as it appears in real life, but the reflection will add an abstract element to the photo.

tree reflections

The image above is of the reflections of some trees in Phu Kradueng National Park in Northeast Thailand.  After a heavy rain the night before this area was filled with small puddles, reflecting the surrounding trees nicely. I started photographing the reflections, but no matter how I composed the shot I didn’t like any of the images with both the trees and their reflections.  I finally decided to exclude the actual trees and instead just photographed the reflections themselves with the idea that I would later flip them vertically in Lightroom. The fact that there were several small puddles instead of one large puddle helped break up the reflections and enhanced the abstractness of the image.

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    […] can create more interesting pictures that will grab the attention of viewers. Here’s a link to getting creative with reflections by JJ Michael who teaches our Beginner’s […]


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