Creative techniques Double the drama
Reflecting on busy urban life, Tom Welsh heads out to duplicate a cityscape using little more than perspex, perspective and precision
For a new take on the standard cityscape, we are going to turn busy, inner-city life upside down. Using a combination of perspective and perspex, you can replicate any cityscape in a striking reflection.
Look around and you’ll find plenty of suitable buildings for reflections, especially in the centre of a city. Of course, you can find many reflections in windows and water, but these don’t quite give the remarkable clarity you can achieve using a super-smooth shiny surface.
The method is simple: you position a reflective sheet of material in front of a cityscape to double up the scene. A mirror is the obvious thing to use, but a wide variety of materials will work for this technique, and for our shoot we opted for a sheet of black perspex. The perspex was reflective enough to give a mirror-like reflection, although the image was only visible
A mirror is the obvious thing to use, but a wide variety of materials will work for this technique, and for our shoot we opted for a sheet of black perspex
when looking low down and directly across the sheet. This is because the distance between the camera and the subject will affect where you have to stand in order to capture the mirrored scene; if we’d placed the perspex at the base of a building, we’d have had to look almost straight down to see the reflection of our subject.
There are some tricky techniques to master if you’re to pull this effect off. Don’t let that put you off, though, as with some precise positioning you will be able to reflect your favourite scene with ease, and gain a greater understanding of perspective and light to further your photography.