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In The Practicing Photographer, photographer and teacher Ben Long shares a weekly serving of photographic instruction and inspiration. Each installment focuses on a photographic shooting scenario, a piece of gear, or a software technique. Each installment concludes with a call to action designed to inspire you to pick up your camera (or your mouse or smartphone) to try the technique for yourself.
Sometimes on a nice afternoon like this, I like to come out to a location like this and just, you know, reflect. And that's what I'm doing right here. I'm reflecting. And that's the topic for this week's The Practicing Photographer. I want you to think about reflections. They can be a really interesting compositional idea. I've got some water in front of me. And I'm casting a reflection. We're not so much talking about it in terms of self-portraits but shooting other things, although self-portraits are okay, too. You can work reflections out of water, off of windows, of course out of mirrors.
Here's the tricky thing about reflections. Your brain very often sensors them, just edits them right out. You don't even notice them. And you might be walking through a situation looking,in this case, at these weird dead trees and not notice that maybe they're casting these really cool reflections into the water. So, going out with the idea of trying to observe that parallel universe of reflections is a good way of really getting yourself seeing in a new way. So that's what I want you to do this week. Go out and practice with reflections. If you don't have any standing water around, go maybe to a shopping, district in your town, or a commercial area.
Or somewhere where there are a lot of windows, and just work with the reflections. You might be surprised at what you find there. How much is going on in those windows or puddles of water that you don't normally see. It can activate a different way of seeing. And that can open up a whole new realm of photographic possibility for you.
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