If there’s anything better than nature, it is nature reflected—you essentially get two for the price of one! I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to reflect my subjects in water, whether still water or moving. Reflections are a great way of showing nature subjects in an interesting way, and of creating abstract and impressionistic images.
While recently leading a photo workshop in the Adirondacks of upstate New York, my students and I were presented with a number of opportunities to photograph autumn foliage reflected in water. For the image above, a beautiful autumn cliff-side was reflected in the still waters of an alpine tarn. An almost imperceptible breeze created a slight rippling of the water’s surface, lending an impressionistic feel to the image. I zoomed in tight to focus the composition on a series of repeating shapes reflected in the water. For more information about the making of this image, visit my daily photoblog.
Moving water creates reflections with a more abstract look. For the image above, I photographed autumn color reflected in the fast-moving waters of the Ausable River. I tilted my camera diagonally to emphasize the lines in the image and to create a compositional relationship between the river rock and the rapid. The motion of the water renders the reflected colors as a featureless blur, turning it into an abstract study of color and movement.