Inside Photoshop

Photograph a reproduction of your reality with reflections

Inside Photoshop

by Stephen Dow

While some reflections can certainly distract from your central subject, others are so interesting that they can become the subject themselves. Just as avoiding reflections in your digital photography takes some careful shooting, capturing a reflection in pixels also has its own set of techniques. In some ways, it becomes more difficult, as you must not only capture the reflection, but represent the reflective object as well. Photographing reflections can yield some very rewarding images, and digital cameras are perfectly suited to get the job done.

The physics of reflections

Simply put, a┬áreflection┬áis light thrown back from a surface. The quality of the reflection depends on the strength of the light source (called incident light), the smoothness of the reflective surface, and the strength of the reflected light. Essentially, strong light sources that bounce off smooth surfaces produce good reflections, while rougher surfaces produce more diffuse reflections. Of course, a perfect mirror image isn’t always the goal, as the abstraction that a weaker light source or rough reflective surface adds to the reflection is often more interesting than the original scene.

Planning a reflective shot

When considering capturing a reflection, you should first think about what the central subject of your[…]


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