How to Handle Reflections in Photography

Depending on what you’re shooting and how you’re shooting, reflections can either be an interesting or a distracting element. This is true across different genres of photography. As a photographer, it is up to you to keep an eye on the reflections in your images and decide whether you want to keep them or get rid of them. In this video, photographer Tony Northrup shares some techniques on this topic:

Northrup shares six different ways that you can tackle reflections during your shoot. If you do not want to deal with additional gear, you can start by considering the laws of reflection. Move your camera around in different directions to angle it in a way that the distracting reflections are eliminated. Another method you can use is to simply use a wide aperture and focus manually on the surface you’re photographing. Since the object in the reflection is at a greater distance, you can easily blur it out using low f-numbers.

If you don’t mind using additional tools to tackle reflections, you can either use a polarizing filter, v-flats or some powerful lights. A polarizing filter can be a convenient tool when photographing products or even landscapes. Northrup demonstrates how you can use it to eliminate unwanted reflections. But be aware that these filters usually block some amount of light that you’ll need to compensate for. As for v-flats and additional lights, they can be great tools for you to use in studio environments. And while they provide you with greater control over reflections, using them isn’t difficult either.

For a full-on demo of how you can use these tips, be sure to watch the complete video. Whether you’re a landscape, product, real-estate or commercial photographer, you’ll definitely find these tips quite useful.

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