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Thread: How to take reflection Photos

  1. #1
    Sam Smith's Avatar
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    How to take reflection Photos

    These pic were taken on a whim. I was going back into work and saw the reflection and had to take a picture of it. I did learn 2 lessons from this. 1. Carry a tripod, these were taken hand held. 2. Always be ready, I had about 4 min before it would have been to late.

    My question is how to get the reflection tack sharp or how to make the pics better. The person whom owns the motorcycle is shinning it up for Monday so I can try agin.

    motorcycle-reflection-1.jpg

    motorcycle-reflection-2.jpg

    All comments are great accepted.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 21st August 2010 at 08:23 AM. Reason: add images inline

  2. #2

    Re: How to take reflection Photos

    Hi Sam

    The problem with reflection shots is that the auto-focussing can be confused. I find it best to use manual focus. Check that your camera viewer is set to your 'shooting-eye' and adjust using the diopter if necessary before taking your shot. To remove unwanted glare from reflections try using a polarising filter. But you will lose a couple of stops doing that, so you will definitely need a tripod.

  3. #3
    pwnage101's Avatar
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    Re: How to take reflection Photos

    that is definitely not out of focus, but rather shaken. turn up both ISO and shutter speed. or use a tripod.

    i can even see the rotational path your hand/camera took while the shutter was open first is a distinct U shape, the second is a slight curve opening upward.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: How to take reflection Photos

    Hi Sam,

    Good advice (and diagnosis) so far, to summarise and add a little;

    1) Use a tripod (I can't belive I (of all people) said that!)
    2) On a tripod, shutter speed doesn't matter beyond any background (i.e. reflected) subject movement issues
    3) If background movement isn't an issue, use a low ISO and let the shutter speed lengthen, but don't be scared of a higher iso - assuming you have a PP means to remove it (e.g. Neat Image, Noise Ninja, etc.) if background movement is a problem
    4) Shoot RAW (because it means WB can be fixed later)
    5) Unless you know better, I'd advise shooting in Av/A mode, with centre weighted metering, BUT make sure you review the histograms and blinkies at the time and shoot nore with + or - EC dialled in as appropriate, or if possible auto 'bracket' exposures
    6) Don't delete any shots in camera, wait until you see them on a computer screen before deciding 'the duffers'
    7) If possible, use a remote release or 2 second timer to avoid tripod shake from pressing the button, if not possible, be gentle when taking
    8) Shoot several shots at different apertures, assuming you focus on the distant scene, wider ones (e.g. f5.6) will give a softer surface to the dome thing (whatever it is) than narrower (e.g. f16)
    9) Manual focus (MF) is more likely to achieve success and Rob's additional advice on that is worth following if you don't normally MF
    10) I would also try some focused 'between' the dome and the far distance when at f16, allowing DoF to try to get both sharp
    11) Enjoy yourself

    I hope that wasn't an "overload" of information

    Knowing your camera model and lens would help us give more accurate advice, and I can't see that in the EXIF.

    If you don't want the 'internals of the building around the edge of the dome, try a different position and/or, (only if safe to do so) turn off those fluey tubes inside the building while shooting.

    Cheers,

  5. #5

    Re: How to take reflection Photos

    I usually just auto focus on a hard edge within the reflection recompose and shoot. f\8 in Av and adjust ISO to get shutter speed over 1/125th sec (unless using a focal length greater than 100mm in which case shutter speed to suit). Use matrix metering. However this is not fail safe in which case Rob and Dave's solutions would come into play

    Steve

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    Re: How to take reflection Photos

    also, if the reflection you are trying to get is of a moving car, then you do have to pay attention to the shutter speed and make sure it is fast enough.
    What is the min shutter speed for a moving car?? I don't know. Personally, I'd get your friend to move the bike so you could have a static reflection that you like.

    Wendy
    Last edited by ScoutR; 21st August 2010 at 01:56 PM. Reason: changed wording

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    Sam Smith's Avatar
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    Re: How to take reflection Photos

    Thanks for all the help. THe camera is a Canon XTI and a Canon 18-135 mm IS USM. I have a remote release and will be using a tripod. I usually shoot in P or AV or Tv mode so as to get raw images. The lights must stay on as the building is still in a production run when i took the photo. The pic was a reflection off a motorcycle breather cover of a co-worker. I will be taking it again if the weather permits on Monday.
    I am greatly thankful for the instruction. I will post the results.

  8. #8

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    Re: How to take reflection Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Smith View Post
    Thanks for all the help. THe camera is a Canon XTI and a Canon 18-135 mm IS USM. I have a remote release and will be using a tripod. I usually shoot in P or AV or Tv mode so as to get raw images. The lights must stay on as the building is still in a production run when i took the photo. The pic was a reflection off a motorcycle breather cover of a co-worker. I will be taking it again if the weather permits on Monday.
    I am greatly thankful for the instruction. I will post the results.
    Hi Sam,
    Don't forget to use Mirror lockup to avoid any mechanical vibrations in the camera.

    GT

  9. #9
    Sam Smith's Avatar
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    Re: How to take reflection Photos

    Well it is raining again as it has most of the weekend. It is supposed to rain all week. Hopefully it will break sooner. Thanks for all the advice and I have to keep reading to ensure I remember it.

  10. #10
    Sam Smith's Avatar
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    Re: How to take reflection Photos

    I am still trying to take this photo again but it has rained everyday that the motorcycle is available. I am determine to reshoot it. With all the advice I should be able to get it right.

  11. #11
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: How to take reflection Photos

    Hi Sam,
    Everything that was aid I agree with. Manual focus in this instance is good as you need to choose what you want in focus – the chrome reflector or the reflection itself. The reflection is some distance from the reflecting surface so you will need to focus on the a longer focal point to get the reflection in focus.

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