Fujifilm X-T1

Photography and Puddles

I recently experimented with using a large puddle of rain water when photographing the Blackford Dolphin oil rig at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff. It was interesting to see how the surface reflection can be used to enhance focus points of an image.

Through experimenting with this process I came to the realisation that our brains can be lazy in how we process what we look at. When looking in puddles we ignore the details of the image that lies on the surface and tend to focus on the murky water beneath. I personally found I had to tell myself to look for a reflection.

I spent a bit of time in the Mourne mountains capturing landscape images with the Fujifilm X-T1 and the Fujinon 14mm lens.

The Mournes were fog filled so we stopped at the forest in which the Rams’ Pocket RadioLove is a Bitter Thing” video was shot. On a walk around I spotted the long trees reflecting on the surface of the still puddle so I tried to capture a balanced reflection of two strips, the reality versus the reflection.

The Mournes

It was an interesting experiment, I had to concentrate to ignore what I was seeing and really focus on the reflection. A small change in the camera angle also had a massive impact on the captured image.

The fold out LCD screen on the X-T1 allowed me to really get close to the surface of the water and still (easily) see what I was shooting. I then started to experimenting with capturing images that blended some of the content under the surface with the detail of the reflection.

Reflections in Photography

It was interesting to see the abstract shapes that could be created by mixing the reflection with the reality of the puddle. It was also remarkable easy to control the balance between reflection and reality by changing the distance between the X-T1 and the water and by adjusting the aperture and thus the depth of field.

Reflections on the X-T1

As I played with the technique I was so fixated by getting the reflection in focus I didn’t spot a piece of rubbish in the puddle. Fortunately though its existence creates and interesting dynamic with the surface reflection of the puddle.

Rubbish in the water

The process makes for an interesting end result that can lead the audience to question what they are looking at as their brains process the mix of reflection and reality.

The next time you head out to shoot landscapes and find your view is thick with dense cloud and rain don’t see it as a set back, seek opportunities in the puddles.

Links

Fujifilm X-T1 Review
Shooting Shallow



Comments

  1. These are great David – like double exposures without the added effort 🙂 Nicely done.

    Sorry I think I may have commented twice…

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David

David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

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