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Using Reflections in Landscape Photos

Learn how to use reflections to improve your landscape photography from professional photographer Luke Ballard in this Howcast video.


Using reflection in your landscape photography can dramatically improve the outcome of your photograph. This photograph here at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. was taken from across the tidal basin and shot through at sunset. As a result of using that slow shutter speed and just that beautiful lighting that was coming in the sky, I managed to get the beautiful light coming through in the vibrancy and the saturation hitting the water, and also the Jefferson Memorial as well. I like to work on the philosophy that any time I can use a reflection, do so.

It's going to dramatically improve the photograph, exponentially. I also work on the philosophy that if I'm reflecting an image, I don't necessarily need the complete landmark in the photograph to highlight it. Let's have a look at this next photograph. So as you can see, here we are at the U.S. Capitol building there in Washington D.C.

The Capitol building, one of my favorite pieces of architecture in the world, didn't need to be there in all of its glory to have the photograph work, as it does. Any time you see rain, any time it storms, any time there's a puddle, try and see what's around it and how you can use that to take a better photograph. Reflections, they make your landscape photographs better. What can I say?

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