Photographing Water Reflections

Reflections of boats docked at Whittier harbor, Alaska

The unique symmetrical quality of this composition, combined with the creative use of water, creates the feeling of both side-to-side and top-to-bottom reflection.

Photographing Water Reflections

Reflections can add a wonderful compositional element to your photography, and nothing gives you better reflections than water. By incorporating reflections in your photos, you can use it’s repetitive quality to accentuate your main subjects, your secondary subjects, or even the direction, or color of the light.

You can also use reflections to help guide our viewer around the frame. Also, water that’s moving from wind or wave action can distort your subject matter, which can add yet another unique visual effect to your images.

Here are a few examples of how you can make use of reflections in your landscape and outdoor photography. We hope this inspires you to get out there and experiment with some new techniques!

In this example below, we’re not able to discern much detail in the reflection, but it adds a powerful shape to the composition.

reflections, water, landscape photography

Reflection in a mountain pond.

Here’s a similar style of juxtaposing the right-side-up foreground with the upside-down reflection in the background. However, this time, the reflection is a much more prominent element in the picture.


Reflection of sunset on the Chugach Mountains

Sometimes the reflection can help define the shape of your main subjects.


Sometimes you can just show a tiny part of the actual subject, and sometimes you don’t need it at all.


Water can reflect the warm light of sunset, adding even more drama and contrast to the photo.

Seldovia, Alaska

Seldovia, Alaska

Reflections work great at night. Not only do they add interest, they bring more light into the shot, which means you have much breathing space in your image.

Late winter aurora display in Southcentral Alaska

Late winter aurora display in Southcentral Alaska

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The Cook Inlet reflecting the Anchorage skyline at twilight.

Similar subject matter, yet two very different photographs.



Ok, your turn. Now go out and practice!!

Sunset over the Turnagain Arm mud flats

Sunset over the Turnagain Arm mud flats

By | 2018-01-23T19:10:19+00:00 April 26th, 2016|Creative Tips|0 Comments

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