THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO MASTER REFLECTIONS IN PHOTOGRAPHY (CAPTURE OR ELIMINATE)

How is it possible?! What fascinates us with reflections and what we have talked about them and we still had not dedicated an article as they deserve? Ok, yes, we have made challenges and an inspiring gallery, but we have not sat down to tell you how to master them. Because of course, we love capturing their magic, but … do we always want them in our photos? Sometimes not. Sometimes we break our heads to avoid them because they are just a distraction, not a pretty reflection that adds appeal.

Well, my intention today is that you learn to master them, either when it comes to capturing their beauty and attractiveness or to leave them out of the picture when they get in your way. Take note that these tips will come to you from cinema. Let’s go there!

These are the tips that I will detail below to avoid reflexes:

  1. Use a polarizing filter
  2. Turn off the flash
  3. Change the angle
  4. Glue the lens to the glass
  5. Turn off the lights
  6. Clean glass
  7. Photoshop

HOW TO AVOID ANNOYING REFLECTIONS OF YOUR IMAGES

Has it ever happened to you that you were trying to capture the beauty of a crystalline water and the stones or fish that were underneath and the only thing you have achieved has been a luminous surface? Or try to portray someone looking in the mirror and the flash appears in the photo. Or maybe wanting to photograph the decoration of a room and that the reflections in the crystals spoil all the harmony … These cases are quite common. But, luckily, there is a way to prevent them from happening. Let’s see how:

1. USE A POLARIZING FILTER

In addition to providing you with a beautiful contrast between the blue of the sky and the white of the clouds, helping you to eliminate the fog of the landscapes or increase the saturation of the colors, this filter reduces unwanted reflections. You can use it for landscape, interiors, photographing cars or when you need to reduce the reflections of any reflective surface (glass, metal, water …).

With polarizing filter

2. TURN OFF THE FLASH

Unless it is essential, do not use the flash and avoid its reflection. If you can’t help it, follow the following advice.

3. CHANGE THE ANGLE

This trick serves both to avoid the flash reflection and to make a portrait of someone who wears glasses, for example. Many times you will be able to eliminate the reflections you don’t want by simply changing the angle from where you take the picture. You can also change the position of the reflective surface, for example, in the case of the portrait, it may be enough to turn your face a few degrees. In short, move the light source, be it a flash or a lamp and, if you can’t, try changing the position of the object or shooting from another angle. Many unwanted reflections are eliminated with this simple gesture.

4. GLUE THE LENS TO THE GLASS

When photographing through a glass, stick the lens to the east. Except when you are in a moving vehicle, such as an airplane, a car or a train, in which case you should leave an inch away to avoid vibrations and that your picture is moved.

Stick well to the glass

5. TURN OFF LIGHTS

Do you want to photograph the exterior from a glass? In addition to following the above advice, turn off the lights, if they are on.

6. CLEAN CRYSTALS

The cleaner the glass is, the purer its transparency will be. Whenever you can, try to be clean to avoid reflections that do not touch.

7. PHOTOSHOP

When none of the above works, turn to San Photoshop. If you can avoid it with the above tips, much better for you. The result will be of higher quality and you will spend less time. But if it is not possible, pull it, the resources are to use them. If you do not know how, look on YouTube, surely there is a tutorial to eliminate that reflection of that specific surface you are looking for;).

HOW TO CAPTURE THE BEAUTY OF REFLECTIONS

Not all reflections are annoying, on the contrary, there are extremely beautiful and interesting ones. Surely you already know and have tried to capture them more than once and twice. In this section I will give you some tips for you to get spectacular photographs of reflections.

1. SHARP REFLEXES

If what you want is to capture the reflection in the water, try to do it one day that is not very windy or swell, the calmer the water is, whether on a beach or in a lake, the sharper the reflection will be.

Sharpness with calm waters …

2. ABSTRACT REFLECTIONS

On the contrary you can play with the movement of water to create abstract images or textures. Well with the water moved by the air, by the passage of a boat or because you throw a stone into the water and form attractive waves that break the symmetry.

3. SILHOUETTES

The silhouettes are very attractive, if you capture their reflection, double attractive;). Backlit photography during sunrise or sunset and… voilà!

Reflected silhouettes

4. CREATIVITY

Creativity has a lot of place in the subject of reflexes, turning the unreal into real, making the reflected motive the protagonist, investing, going around, breaking patterns or anything that comes to mind to surprise you will be welcome.

turn it around

5. ANGLE

If changing the angle can help you reduce or eliminate annoying reflections, it can also help you capture those that interest you. A monument in a puddle, the reflection of an interesting face in a shop window, children running to the seashore at sunset. Get down or throw yourself on the floor if necessary, try different angles until you find the right place.

6. COMPOSITION

Take care of the composition, skip the rules if necessary, for example to look for symmetry. But take care of each element of the image. Decide exactly how you want to frame. Your reflection may be wonderful, but if the composition is not good, it will do no good.

7. CLEAN CRYSTALS

Don’t let a stain in a mirror or glass ruin your reflection. Try, whenever possible, clean the surfaces where you want to capture your reflection.

8. NIGHT

Take advantage of the night to capture the reflections of the lights.

The magic of night reflections

9. LIGHTING

A reflection is best captured if the subject is well lit while the reflective surface is not. Keep this in mind also when photographing landscapes, when the light is dimmer and less zenithal, your reflections in the water will be much more spectacular, so sunrise and sunset are very good times.

The subject is well lit and the reflective surface is not

10. APPROACH

The closer your camera is to the surface, the better you can capture the reflection.

11. MANUAL MODE

Although it is not essential (the photo above is made with a mobile and automatic), using your camera in manual mode offers you many more possibilities when it comes to mastering your reflexes. For example:

  • Use a small aperture to capture an entire reflected landscape
  • Work with a large aperture to focus attention on a reflection in the foreground and blur the rest
  • Use slow speeds to achieve better reflections or night reflections
  • Control light exposure
  • Etc

In short, a manual mode increases your chances to infinity (and beyond …;)).

12. SKIP THE RULES

The rules are to skip them. Definitely. In the blog we show them to you, we recommend that you take them into account, but also that you break them. With knowledge of cause, of course. Here is a picture with the dirty glass and annoying reflections, however, in my opinion, it is what makes the portrait interesting and different.

Skipping the rules from time to time is necessary

13. INSPIRATION

Finally, fill yourself with inspiration. In this article you will find many ideas and photos that will make you want to leave immediately in search of reflections. If you find few, you can go here or here .

The beauty of the reflections

As a bonus, I leave you a video of Ainara García with a trick that you will love to know to achieve impressive reflections in a very simple way:

I hope I helped you master the most untamed reflexes and capture the most beautiful. It does not matter that yours are the landscapes, the portraits, the macro or the street photography , to give some examples. You can capture reflexes in any discipline. Photograph them and enjoy them. Come on, your camera is waiting for you!

Pss, pss, do not go so fast … If you found this article interesting, it is very likely that some of your contacts with whom you share photographic passion are also useful. For this, I will thank you infinitely for sending it to you by sharing it on your favorite social network. Thanks and see you soon.

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