Photography Tips for Water Reflections, Abstracts, Splashes, Puddles and More

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reflection photography

“London 2010″ captured by Federico (Click Image to See More From Federico)

If you believe that waves, waterscapes and waterfalls pretty well use up all the opportunities that water provides for picture-taking, think again. Here are 7 more photography tips with water as remedies for the photo doldrums!

#1 – Reflections: For a mirror reflection on water the surface must be still and can’t have sunlight shining directly on it. When the light hits just above the shoreline (early morning or evening) leaving the water in shadow, or where something casts it’s shadow across the water, you’ll find such reflections.

#2 – Abstracts: Intriguing opportunities for abstract reflections occur when the water is gently swelling or rippling. Watch the water’s surface carefully for a while and you’ll begin to see the possibilities. Remember to vary your pictures by making several exposures at different shutter speeds. The unpredictability of this type of picture-making will provide unexpected surprises, and new directions for future shootings.

#3 – Spray: activities carried out with water present opportunities for picture-making (Just make sure your camera is well protected and doesn’t get wet!) like watering a garden, sprinking a lawn, or washing a vehicle.

#4 – Splash: Like when things are dropped or poured into water, or waves as they crash onto the beach present water in these aspects.

#5 – Bubbles: What about dishwashing bubbles and bubbles from children’s bubble-blowing toys, which yield interfering light effects with their crazy colors and patterns?

#6 – Foam: The froth that swirls and creeps up the beach after a wave has broken.

#7 – Puddles: Are just about everywhere after a period of rain, in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. During rainfall they present ring-patterns. Afterward they display upside down reflections during both daylight and after dark wherever there are lights nearby.

Self-Assignments For Above Photography Tips:

Choose the projects that interest you most. Follow the photography tips conscientiously. Re-shoot when you aren’t satisfied. Do it til you are satisfied. It’ll take all your patience and passion. Your skills and eye will improve with the practice. Shoot especially in early and late light. Use a tripod as much as possible. Edit your results relentlessly. Pin small samples on the wall for a few days to study before making final prints for wall art.

splash photography

“sunset splash” captured by David Hobcote (Click Image to See More From David Hobcote)

Photography Tip #1 – Reflections: Go to a pond or lake in either early morning or early evening when the water is in shadow, locate an interesting reflection and line up a shot with just a minimum of shoreline and a maximum of reflection. Then a shot of equal parts shore and reflection using a graduated neutral density filter to balance the lighting.

Photography Tip #2 – Abstracts: find a stream or creek with running, swirling water, etc, and study the colors and tones being reflected in the running water from onshore and overhead things. Try to include something just in or on the water that you can clearly focus on as a center of interest. When you spot such an interesting abstract, shoot it, first with a faster shutter speed, and then with a much slower speed.

Photography Tip #3 – Spray: The next time you get out the lawn sprinkler to do

the lawn, look for an angle that puts sparkle in the water and provides a dark background to shoot toward. Use both high and low shutter speeds, and compare the results.

Photography Tip #4 – Splash: Make a close-up of water as it’s poured into a glass filled with ice-cubes.

Photography Tip #5 – Bubbles: Take a shot of some dishsoap bubbles against a sheet of black paper while shining a beam of light at the bubbles.

Photography Tip #6 – Foam: Look for a depression on the beach where the foam from spent waves swirls and do a shot with the swirl pattern in the foreground, using a slow shutter speed.

Photography Tip #7 – Puddles: Take a picture during the rain trying for an interesting pattern of raindrop circles. Make a nighttime shot of a puddle having either lit-up signs or office buildings nearby which are reflected in the puddle.

puddle photo

“F- Flow” captured by chris p (click image to see more from chris p)

In the next article of this set we’ll cover still more photography tips about water’s other warm season photo ops for overcoming the photo doldrums: condensation, hail, mist and fog.

About the Author:
John Maxymuik is the author of “Photography Tips for the Photo Doldrums”, a set of 6-articles providing tips to break the grip of the photo doldrums by use of the “ideal photo subject”- water. To see examples of fine art photography that made use of this “ideal photo subject” go to my website at¬†ambienceimages dot net.

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