Unless you have a camera with a flippy screen, it’s often hard to get as low as you can while still seeing your subject. Especially in the rain. After we got an influx of rain last week, I decided to take out an iPhone 13 Pro and capture some reflections in puddles.
iPhones and other smartphones make it super easy to get that low view, just by turning your phone upside down. Make it so that your camera is as close to the ground as possible, with a slightly elevated angle, and snap away.
If you want to photograph horizontally, you can do that too, just by making sure your camera is lower to the ground (with the phone’s earpiece in your right hand).
Choosing the subject and angle of your reflections
Reflections are great when working with architectural elements, so that’s what I primarily focused on. In the photo above, I snapped a reflection of the Blue Bridge in Grand Rapids, MI. I also photographed the skyline, with two lamp posts helping to frame the large buildings.
Also, be aware of the angle you’re shooting at, as that can change the reflection quite a bit.
Watch out for distractions
One of the first photographs I took while I was out was of a sewer drain. I thought having the artwork on the drain next to a reflection could be cool.
In reality, though, it was too distracting, and completely ruined any reflection that was there. Instead, I found going a bit simpler was best.
Consider adding a foreground element
If not too distracting, you can add a foreground element to the scene. I found this works best with things that complement the reflected element. For example, leaves or fallen branches work, when the reflection is of a tree.
Regardless of what you come across, having a reflection can be a fun way to practice your photography. And with an iPhone or other smartphone, it’s easier than ever!