Today’s collection of unbelievable photos is a reflective one… literally. We’ve gathered over one hundred photos from extremely talented and creative photographers that use reflections of all kinds to create interesting compositions. Along the way, we’ll see some quick tips that you can keep in mind to spot the perfect opportunities to create your own reflection masterpiece.
Tips for Using Reflections Creatively
Before we get into our huge collection of reflection photos, let’s grab a few select images and use them as lessons for how to effectively and creatively incorporate reflections into our own work.
Landscapes Love Reflections, But Don’t Stop There
Landscapes are probably one of the very first places you would think to use a reflection. Nature creates some of the most beautiful photography subjects imaginable. When you have a lake to work with, the result can be down right majestic. These types of shots can be most impressive when you make it hard to see where the landscape ends and the reflection begins.
One thing to keep in mind is that your first idea tends to be your most generic. I love these types of shots and have included plenty of them below, but as we’ll see next that there is a lot more fun to be had in this area.
Complete the Picture
The shot above is an absolutely fantastic illusion that uses a wall of glass and a perfectly positioned reflection to complete the dome shape and the rest of the building.
When you’re playing around with reflections, be sure to move around a lot and shift your vantage point until you see something that inspires you. The perfect shot might not be there right away, you have to search for it even at the cost of looking like a mad man in public!
Another lesson that we can learn from this is that using reflections involves mastering the art of symmetry. Many of the images that you’ll see in the collection below are beautiful simply because of the symmetry that the reflection produces.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Since our world tends to be full of light for a good deal of the time, reflections are absolutely everywhere. They’re probably one of the most readily available sources of creativity you’ll find. You just have to make yourself aware of them and learn to spot interesting subjects.
The gorgeous photo above captures the reflection in a spacesuit visor at a museum, which depicts a wonderful fisheye bend of the room. The result is a stunning image that’s hard to look away from.
Reveal What Is Hidden
Some of my favorite reflection shots, like the space suit and the image of the building above, use reflections to reveal something that’s outside the frame of the camera. The building above acts as a neat mirror that allows us to peer into a bustling street scene. The photographer’s place on the street makes it impossible for him to capture the city from such a high vantage point, but by utilizing the reflective surfaces around him, he is able to show the environment in an impressively creative way.
As you walk around, think about how you can use reflections to capture a viewpoint that you simply couldn’t have shot otherwise. The results are sure to be fascinating.
Zoom In, Way in
As we mentioned above, an extremely wide angle landscape reflection shot can be powerful and majestic, but you can achieve equally amazing results by throwing on your macro lens and looking for tiny surfaces around you. Though not strictly a reflection (it’s actually a refraction), the same principles apply. The most often used method I found of macro reflections is with water droplets like we see in the image above. There’s something magical about seeing such a big world through such a tiny speck!
My final tip is to open your mind up to see more than crystal clear reflections and also stop to pay homage to the beauty of something a little more abstract, like the image above.
Water tends to be a perfect place to achieve these kinds of effects. The slightest bit of wind or foreign substance can make for some amazing textures and compositions.
Show Us Yours!
Now that you’ve seen our monstrous collection of creatively reflective images, it’s time for you to steal the spotlight by showcasing your own work.
Leave a comment below with some links to the reflection shots you’re most proud of capturing. Also, be sure to share any tips you’ve picked up along the way!