Monday, June 16, 2008

Instructor's Tip: Reflections

Enjoy this week's Instuctor's Tip: "Reflections," by award winning nature photographer Russ Burden Burden:

Reflections can be found on many different surfaces. Glass buildings,
mirrors, mylar, chrome bumpers, and puddles to name a few. All
provide the opportunity to produce creative images. Some provide
smooth and uninterrupted surfaces while others add a rippled texture
giving variations of the reflected effect. In the natural world, the
diversity of mirrored surfaces isn’t as vast narrowing the amount of
photographic opportunities. Nature photographers often rely on still
water for the effect. This mandates no wind. Early mornings and late
evenings are the best times to find this condition. A bonus is the
light at this time of day is warm and directional.

Still water reflections provide the nature photographer with great
opportunities to make gorgeous images. I encourage you to use a
graduated neutral density filter to even out the difference in
exposure between the reflection and top area of the photo.
Inevitably, the reflected part will be darker by as much as three
stops. With this in mind, I carry one and two stop versions on all my
workshops. I take a meter reading of both the actual and reflected
portions. If the difference is one stop, I use the one stop filter.
If it’s two stops, I use the two stop filter and for those times when
there’s a three stop difference, I combine the one and two to give me
three stops of filtration.

The photo in this post were taken by award winning photographer Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ took the following photo in this post, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

To take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Russ' most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

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