Use Reflections To Improve Your Photography

Use Reflections To Improve your Cityscape Photography

The main image on my site might give it away already, but I really enjoy using reflections in my photography. The way city lights reflect in water is amazing and really helps to enhance a scene, especially when the sky is a bit flat. Melbourne has a fantastic skyline and some fantastic photography spots to advantage of water, light and the city skyline.

I have two locations in Melbourne where I would recommend using reflections to improve the shot. The 1st is around Albert Park Lake, which at the southern end allows for fantastic views of the Melbourne skyline. I have been there to photograph probably 10 times in the past year - it's amazing there.

I have added three of my favourite Albert Park Lake shots below to highlight how using reflections adds to the overall image. In the 'Orange Glow' shot the sunset was lovely but there were no clouds for the sun to light up and I wasn't sure if there would be a decent image. I decided to wait until the city lights started coming on but while the colour of the sunset was still vibrant. Putting the water line at the mid-point of the frame meant the reflection of the skyline became a central part of the image.

The 'Illuminations' image was taken a lot closer to the skyline and towards the end of the sunset colours, deep into blue hour. I love the vibrancy of the skyline reflected in the water. 

The third shot obviously has a lot more going on in the sky so the reflections are a secondary part of the composition. I do like how the sunset colours are reflected though which means the water is more than just a silvery, blue colour.

Yarra River Reflections

The second location in Melbourne where reflections improve the shot, is down by the Yarra River. As with Albert Park Lake, there is a fantastic view of the Melbourne skyline which can be framed quite nicely by the trees that grow along the riverbank.

The shot below shows the Melbourne CBD lit up just after sunset on a fairly calm evening in the city. I used an 8 second exposure to smooth the water out which helped emphasise the reflections. Streaky clouds came with the longer exposure which helped to frame the top and bottom of the image - I love this long exposure effect.

Yarra River Reflections of Melbourne

Reflections Of Melbourne

I haven't experimented much with puddle reflections in Melbourne but that is definitely something I want to try. I think down by Flinders Street Station I'd be able to get some interesting reflections and use light trails from the traffic as well, to enhance the image.