Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Be delighted by what can emerge in the layered world of visual echoes
Text & Photography By Tracey Clark Published in Shooting
10 Places To Seek Out Reflections
1. Though airport windows
2. Through airplane windows
3. Through retail shop windows
4. Your laptop screen
5. A uniquely shaped mirror (you can include the frame around it)
6. In the bathtub
7. In metal fixtures or appliances
8. On the floor (hardwood can work well)
9. In a puddle of water
10. On rain-slicked streets
Every part of what you can detect in a reflection plays a part in the final image. All of the rules of good composition apply, especially when inviting all the vague and mysterious shapes, shadows and colors into your layered work of art. And because you're working with more than one subject—a reflective image offers two, at the very least—you have to be even more mindful of where you're placing all of the various elements within your frame to avoid visual chaos or confusion.

Even with all of that being said, I would never, could never encourage you to try to control every single part of the creative process when it comes to this kind of photography. For as much as you can try to harness all of the elements of every scenario, I urge you to embrace everything that might appear with—or better yet, without—you being aware. Let the unexpected emerge. Be open to accidents. Invite creative coincidence. Allow for magic.

Just as layers of images can work together to create a more beautiful whole, our artistic intentions can mingle with the muses of creativity, bringing to light something far more wonderful than we could have ever imagined.

Here are some simple ideas for your reflective experimentations:

1 | Use line, repetition and shape in ways that bring visual harmony to the big picture.

2 | Try to establish a main focal point to avoid creating a shot that might be too chaotic or confusing.

3 | Look for subtleties in texture and color, and place them within the frame for added interest and balance.

4 | Remember that even just a hint of a reflection can be a curious and compelling addition to your image.

5 | Use this technique to evoke emotion. You're the artist. Make a statement.

6 | Discover yourself in your reflection. As photographers who are usually behind the camera, it's important to reveal ourselves once in a while.

7 | Pay attention to where your own reflection is within the shot. There are all kinds of creative ways to place yourself in the frame.

9 | Experiment, be playful, and allow for magic and surprise to find their way into your frame. Happy accidents are common when shooting reflections.

10 | Although it's not necessary, postprocessing can help you enhance or bring out the parts of the reflections you want to highlight in your image. It can help you to achieve your desired results.

SHUTTER SISTERS is a collaborative photo blog ( and thriving community of women, passionate about photography. Photographer, author, teacher Tracey Clark ( is the founder of Shutter Sisters and author of Elevate the Everyday: A Photographic Guide to Picturing Motherhood (Focal Press).

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