POTW #1 – Reflections

The project I gave myself for week one was to capture 5 unique reflections. I could have found five different mirrors and taken some photos, but that wouldn’t be a challenge or improved my skill any.

I started out looking to try to get some reflections at night on the lake. Due to a angry Mother Nature, we have had storms high winds and rain blocking my main source of light. You do need light to get a reflection. The weather wasn’t my only issue this week. My health has also been giving me problems.

Of the two days I dinked around with this, I think I took over a hundred shots and they all looked forced. This leads me to believe that getting a good natural reflection is something you can’t always plan or compose. Here is recapping what I learned:

  • Must have a good source of light.
  • You don’t have to have a huge surface to get a good reflection shot.
  • Depth of field is very important.
  • Manually focusing is a huge help.
  • The angle of the lens and it’s elevation reflective surface determine the composition of the reflection.

I think I had maybe two images that turned out enough to see, but nothing worthy of submitting to Adobe. I learned about changing the angle you shoot the reflection from can distort the image. An example would be, shooting the reflection of lights from houses on the lake at night. When I went down to the dock and took my shots, the reflections of the lights were long and blurred.

When I took the same shot 10′ higher, from the main floor deck, the reflections were shorter and more sharp. When I went up to the 2nd floor deck and took the same shot, the reflections were shorter still and sharper. Sharp enough that I could zoom in a little to naturally crop out some of the sky and lake. This put the focus on the lights and their reflection. I didn’t mind cropping out the sky from my composition because the shutter won’t stay open long enough to get the stars. I didn’t mind cropping part of the lake because at night the lake is black. Shoot the camera is 12mp, it would be a waste if I only used 8 of them… (4000 x 2000 pixels).

I actually didn’t edit this image except for a tiny bit of cropping, still 12mp. I liked it for a couple reasons. Yes there is a lot of noise, but the image is so soft that being grainy almost makes the image look like a painting or something. I could see this hanging at somebodies cabin or something. I will come back to reflections when we start getting better weather.

Here is a link to the POTW page.

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