Thanks to modern architecture that favours glass and steel over bricks and mortar cities are full of reflections which give us an alternative way to photograph the places we live in.
1. Take A Walk
You probably already know where you can find buildings with good reflective qualities in your town, but it's still worth having a walk around at different times of the day to find out when it's the best time to shoot.
2. Time Of The Day
Surprisingly, with modern buildings bright sunlight can work really well so don't think your hunt for reflections is only limited to early and late parts of the day. However, weekend mornings are a good time if you don't want people in your shots but if there are people around, which may include security guards, and they ask you what you're doing just polity tell them as it's easier than having an argument and then them calling the police.
If you get a particularly spectacular sunset it's worth hanging back as the colours look really good when reflected in modern glass. The same goes for blue skies and white fluffy clouds. In fact, if you have a building that stands away from the rest of the high risers you can almost lose it in the sky.
3. Make The Ordinary Look Fab
Reflections are a great way of making the ordinary look extraordinary too and items we see every day such as trees, colourful signs and lamp posts suddenly turn into an abstract image of wavy lines, shapes and colour. They also give you the opportunity to photograph a well known building in a different way.
Photo by David Clapp
4. Where To Stand
You can photograph the building almost straight on to produce a simple reflection or see if there's the opportunity to line up a shot where the real building meets the reflection so you can create a whole building from the two halves. The contrast of old vs new is something that's always worked well and it's not something that should be ignored here. A big, glass skyscraper reflecting an old, battered, slightly wonky pub can look really great.
5. Converging Vertical Issues
Don't get too hung up about converging verticals as with some modern buildings they can create an interesting composition. It may distort your reflection though so it's best to just experiment and see.
6. Go Wide & Add Detail
If you do opt for using wides try giving your image a little foreground detail to fill what can be a big empty space and if you find you have a problem with glare at any time, just adjust your position until it's no longer in shot.
Photo by David Clapp
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