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Photographing reflections

Dear Photographer,

It’s time to get creative.

Photographing reflections of buildings, nature, or people can give a whole new perspective and feel to your photos -- and earn you extra income, too.

Reflections surround you each and every day. From puddles in the street to the windows on your office building.  Once you start looking, you’ll be surprised at the variety of mirror-like surfaces and structures that you’ll find.

Below are a few tips to getting them right in your camera and increasing the marketability of your images…


Lori Allen
Director, AWAI Travel Division

P.S. Reflection photos are just one example of photos that sell well as stock. Photos of people, hobbies, and everyday objects are also extremely popular when it comes to stock photography. And the fun part about stock is that trends are always changing. Something that may not have been your best-seller last year may be a big hit this year.

Learn all about this year’s up-and-coming trends, when you take a look at the 2010 Stock Workshop At-Home-Package, on sale today for just $199. With this package you’ll get access to all the recordings, presentations, and videos from our live event in Delray that will help you launch your photography career today. Click here for more details: http://www.thephotographerslife.com/str/pp/website 

November 19, 2010
The Right Way to Travel

by Efraín M. Padró in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Photographing a subject reflected on water is a time-honored way of adding interest and uniqueness to an otherwise traditional photograph.

Following are some tips for photographing reflections on water…

1.  The moment you arrive at a place where there is water, train yourself to look for reflections. The water could take the form of a large lake or pond, a puddle after a rain… even a wet road.

The subject will, of course, have to be nearby so it is reflected on the water. A while back I was in Taos, New Mexico, photographing for stock, when a sudden storm swept through the area. My first reaction was to head to the San Francisco de Asis Church and look for puddles.

This church is often photographed and I had been trying to come up with a different interpretation of this icon. The resulting image (shown here) has sold many times as cards, prints, and to magazines.


2. Look for lit subjects.

 Whether it is a row of trees in fall colors or a man-made structure, reflections tend to be snappier when the main subject is brightly lit. If the subject is in the shade, the reflection will be correspondingly dull. And keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if the light source is natural (the sun) or not (lights). The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC (shown here) is a good example of a nice reflection on an artificially-illuminated subject.

3.  Be creative and experiment: Though your first instinct might be to look for a perfect reflection, consider photographing reflections when the water is not still, rendering the reflection in a more artistic, almost impressionistic way. You could also photograph the reflection by itself.

My last example depicts a wooden house sitting on stilts over the water in Boqueron, Puerto Rico, a popular beach destination on the island’s west coast. Notice how the reflection, because the water is moving, contrasts nicely with the perfectly rendered house. The mottled reflection also adds an element of movement to the image.


4. Use a tripod. If your subject is not moving, such as a building or landscape, take the time to set up your tripod for a tack-sharp image of the main subject. Especially if the water is moving, the contrast between a rock-solid main subject and slightly blurred reflection can be very pleasing.


Looking for reflections on water and including some, to the extent possible, in your collection of images will add interest and variety to your work and make it that much more marketable.

[Ed. Note: Meet Efrain Padro in San Antonio, TX at our next live event and learn first-hand what it takes to sell photos to magazines and newspapers.  More details coming soon.]


The Right Way to Travel is a FREE newsletter from the American Writers & Artists Inc., available to AWAI members and friends.

It is coming to you because you are either a member of The Ultimate Travel Writer's Program or Turn Your Pictures into Cash, or you have opted to receive information about getting paid to travel from the AWAI Travel Division.

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