Tiny Tips 3 – Study Reflected Light!

Light is what photography is all about. There are sources of light, and there are subjects that receive and reflect light. Remember that when light strikes a surface it gets reflected ; diffused; refracted or absorbed.

Different materials interact with light differently. Some are especially likely to reflect light more than others. It’s important to look out for these in your compositions, because they could create unexpected flare, or bright spots and light streaks.

In your regular photography explorations, seek out these reflections, and trace the light back to the light source. A principle in Physics “The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection” will help you to understand why reflections occur in a particular spot. You can move your camera, or subject to reduce, or remove the reflection. This is an important concept to remember.

In product photography, we often use reflections to create pleasing shapes, and to let the viewer understand more about the shape of the product, making it look more 3 Dimensional.

Light reflects off shiny areas off faces, mirrors, glass panes and all other shiny surfaces causing burnt out areas in the highlights and unwanted reflections of light from flash bulbs and other light sources. So, while taking photographs look for unplanned reflections and do your best to avoid them! It’s easy to do so once you know what you’re looking for … the light source, the material that’s reflecting, and the angle of both.

Change one or both to remove the reflection.

Happy shooting!

Read more “Tiny Tips” from our collection, to quickly understand important photography concepts.

We also have Photo Projects, that are specially curated for beginners to try their hands with photographing ideas and concepts based with a goal. This will help you learn how to see, compose and produce better images quickly.

John Sudhakar

John Sudhakar

John Sudhakar is a professional photographer based in Chennai, India. His focus is on fashion, resorts, and product photography.

These days he is also involved in building customized motorcycles at The Bullet Factory.

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