Reflection Photography

Reflection photography captures the mirror-like reflections of objects in water, glass, or other reflective surfaces. This technique can produce dramatic, surreal, or thought-provoking images. Proper angle and perspective are key to capturing effective reflection photos, as is the quality and direction of light. The technique is widely used in landscape, architectural, and artistic photography.

Types of Reflection Photography

  1. Water Reflections: Popular in landscape photography, capturing reflections in bodies of water like lakes, rivers, or puddles can add a symmetrical balance to your images.
  2. Glass and Windows: Architectural photography often leverages reflections in glass buildings or windows to create depth or juxtapose old and new structures.
  3. Mirrors and Shiny Objects: Used in artistic and conceptual photography, mirrors can offer surreal perspectives or help focus the viewer's attention.

Key Techniques

  • Angle and Perspective: The angle at which you shoot can drastically alter the reflection. You may need to adjust your position numerous times to capture the reflection effectively.
  • Symmetry: Using symmetry can make your image compelling. It provides a sense of balance and can make your composition more intriguing.
  • Framing: Sometimes the reflection alone can be the subject, but at other times, combining the original object with its reflection makes the composition stronger.

Lighting Considerations

  • Golden Hour: This period shortly after sunrise or before sunset offers softer light and long shadows, often ideal for capturing stunning reflections.
  • Backlighting: Light coming from behind the object can sometimes create an ethereal outline, especially in misty or foggy conditions.
  • Diffused Lighting: Overcast days can also provide excellent opportunities, as the softer light reduces glare on the water or glass.

Gear and Settings

  • Tripod: Essential for long-exposure shots, especially in low light conditions.
  • Polarizing Filter: Helps in cutting out glare from water or glass, making reflections more vivid.
  • Aperture and Shutter Speed: A small aperture (high f-number) and slower shutter speed can help capture a detailed reflection.

Advanced Techniques

  • Multiple Exposures: Some photographers use multiple exposures to blend different scenes via reflections creatively.
  • Post-Processing: Software like Adobe Photoshop can be useful in enhancing or even creating reflections post-shoot.


  • Landscape Photography: Create dreamy and serene scenes.
  • Architectural Photography: Use reflections to showcase structures in a new light.
  • Artistic and Conceptual Photography: Evoke emotions or provoke thought by capturing or even creating surreal reflections.

By mastering the art of reflection photography, you can significantly expand your creative repertoire, whether you're capturing landscapes, exploring architecture, or producing avant-garde art pieces.