Know your stuff

Practical Photography (UK) - - Welcome - Wendy Drake, Leather­head Tim says:

Better re­flec­tions, fo­cal lengths for wildlife, man­ual mode and much more.

I’d love to know how to get stun­ning re­flec­tions in my land­scape im­ages – mine are so un­der­whelm­ing! Any top shoot­ing tips would be much ap­pre­ci­ated.

Us­ing re­flec­tions in your land­scape im­ages can add real im­pact, es­pe­cially if the back­ground and sky are also eye-catch­ing. The tech­nique suits moun­tain scenes, and lakes are ideal, though you can also use ponds, pud­dles and even slow-mov­ing rivers. Here are our five top tips...

Avoid windy days

For the sharpest, clear­est re­flec­tions, shoot in very calm con­di­tions when water takes on a glass-like ap­pear­ance. Your best chance is around sun­set, when wind speed is gen­er­ally lower than dur­ing the day. Keep your eye on the forecast for high pres­sure con­di­tions, as these also tend to mean lower wind speeds.

Use a long ex­po­sure

If there are rip­ples on the sur­face of the water, a slow shut­ter speed will al­low the water to blur for a cleaner re­flec­tion. At sun­rise and sun­set you should be able to achieve this with­out a fil­ter, but in brighter con­di­tions, a 6- or 10-stop ND may be needed. An ex­po­sure of at least 5sec is ideal.

Get down low

The lower the an­gle of your cam­era to the water, the stronger the re­flec­tion will be, so set up your tri­pod ac­cord­ingly. If you end up stand­ing in the water, keep very still or your feet could cause un­wanted rip­ples.

Don’t go too wide-an­gle

Most land­scapes are shot with ul­tra wide-an­gle lenses, but this isn’t al­ways best for re­flec­tions. Wider fo­cal lengths can un­der­state the scale of dis­tant ob­jects (which are usu­ally your main point of in­ter­est in re­flec­tion shots). They can also mean the cam­era is look­ing down­wards at the ex­treme fore­ground, which tends to re­sult in a weak re­flec­tion. In­stead, work from a dis­tance with a longer tele­photo lens.

Use a grad fil­ter

You might find your re­flec­tion is a lot darker than the rest of your im­age. To fix this, brighten it up in Pho­to­shop, or better yet use an ND grad fil­ter to tem­per the top half of the frame, equal­is­ing the over­all ex­po­sure.

Tim Berry PP’s deputy ed­i­tor has a mas­ter’s de­gree in pho­tog­ra­phy and has taught un­der­grad­u­ates. Dan Mold PP’s Pho­to­shop ed­i­tor is a for­mer Dig­i­tal Photo staffer who has en­cy­clo­pe­dic photo knowl­edge. Louise Carey PP’s fea­tures writer is an ex­pe­ri­enced fine art and doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­pher.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.