You will have heard the term ‘composition is key’. Photography is about documenting a scene in an evocative way and often the best photographs are the simple application of creative composition.
Photographing puddles is a creative challenge that will force you to think differently about a scene. Puddles are abound here as Ireland is often synonymous with rain, the weather can pose a challenge but also offer up some creative opportunities.
When looking at puddles we tend to ignore the detail on the surface reflection and focus on the murky water beneath. It take effort to see the reflection.
Puddle Photography – Horizontal Reflection
The first puddle photography technique is simply to reflect the scene on the surface of the puddle. I used the technique 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 focal points of an image.
Puddle Photography : Composition
The second technique is to use the puddle for the entire composition. This means the audience’s view of the subject is 100% from the surface of the water. This can be a really interesting technique creating a juxtaposition between the puddle and the reflection on the surface.
Try and keep the camera low and close to the surface of the water. A small change in the camera angle can also have a massive impact on the captured image.
The technique is easier if your camera offers a LCD tilt screen. This allows you to get close to the surface of the water and still see what’s being captured. It is also interesting to see the abstract shapes that could be created by mixing the reflection with the reality of the puddle.
The technique is a little easier if your camera offers an LCD screen as it allows you to close to the surface of the water and still (easily) see what’s being captured. It was interesting to see the abstract shapes that could be created by mixing the reflection with the reality of the puddle.
It is easy to balance the reflection and reality by changing the distance between the camera and the water, similarly you can also adjust the aperture and thus the depth of field. The more of the puddle’s edge you reveal the quicker your audience will be able to process the image.
The process can create some interesting images that challenges an audience to question what they are viewing. Enjoy experimenting.