Photo Tip Friday - Using Reflections in Water

Welcome back to Photo Tip Friday! 

Today, I'm going to talk about using water reflections to create interesting photographs.

Here's the first shot. Notice the hint of the buildings in the top of the frame and the actual reflection of them in the water? The spire shone beautifully in the setting sun. And that light made the reflection in the water very distinct. But there were ducks out that evening. I thought they added a little interest to the shot as their wake cut across the spire. 

Here's a fall photo. Notice the towering trees reflected in the water? The leaves form perspective in this shot. And the ripples add interest. Notice I caught the ripples in an area that was mostly blue? It made them stand out more that way. 

The leaves in the foreground add a great pop of color and help your eye figure out what the perspective is since the trees are upside down.

Again, I'm using the surface of the water as a means to show the gorgeous, October blue skies and the colorful foliage of fall in the mountains. 

Here's a picture of nothing but the colors of the sun and sky reflected on the surface of our neighborhood pool.

It definitely has an abstract feel to it. 

You can also use the water to reflect people. Here is a swimmer doing the breast stroke. Although the water behind the swimmer is very turbulent, the water ahead of him shows his reflection very well.  

I framed the shot to get both him and his reflection instead of cutting off the reflection.

In all of these shots, there is a common element besides the water. It's essential in every one of them. Can you see it?  

Study the shots. 

Yes, there's water. But what else? 

Light. Lots of light. 

You can get a silhouette of a reflection when there isn't much light. But to get a complete reflection? You need lots of light. 

So, give it a try. Go find a puddle of water somewhere and see what you can see. 

Which is your favorite shot of these? 

Let me know. And if you have photos for me to look at for you, please leave a comment with a link and I'll be happy to pop by!

Hope this tip helps. 

Keep on clicking. 



  1. Beautiful, Mary. I learn so much from your comments and photos. The fall leaves in the foreground is my favorite--the ripples invoke questions...

  2. Great photography! Thanks for all the tips and sharing your talent!