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Inspiring 1x Reflection Photography

by Editor Miro Susta 

“autumn reflection” by Udo Dittmann

One of my favourite activities when I travel is looking for reflections of any sort.
Photographing a reflection creates a unique image from captured subjects adding interest and depth to it.
Reflection photography adds an captivating spin to locations which are hotspots such as lakes, water ponds, seas, and even rain water surfaces. 
Less traditional resources such as glass windows and facades, metal, mirrors or any sort of reflective surface can also be incorporated into this type of photography.

To give you some inspiration and ideas, I've put together this wonderful gallery of 1x reflection photographs divided in different categories such as:

Calm Water Reflections
Not Calm Water Reflections
City Lights
Reflections on Glass Buildings Facades
Birds Reflections
Sunrise, Sunset & moonlight Reflections
Reflections in Rain Water Covered Surfaces & Puddles
Window Reflections
Up-and-down Reflections without showing the Reflected Object
People’s Activity Reflections
Mirroring Photography
Miscellaneous Reflections Photographs

Calm Water Reflections.
Water is an ideal reflective surface for photographers to experiment with.
If you have the right approach, a creative imagination, you can get some amazingly interesting shots.  When you get up early in the morning water will most probably be flat calm making a perfect reflection.
However, capturing a perfect reflection is harder than it sounds because wind will cause ripples and blur the surface of the water.

“Autumn silence” by  Karol Važan

“A Perfect Morning in Canadian Rockies” by Michael Zheng

“Opera House” by Miro Susta

Not Calm Water Reflections
Ripples in the water caused by slight wind can produce a different but nice effect.
It will create a more abstract look because of the textures on the water.
The wind action it a little more complicated to capture, but the principles are the same as for still water.
If you learn to capture reflections with subtle ripples on a calm pond, a crashing wave at the beach will be easier to capture.
A wave is just a very big ripple, after all!

“Reflections in Venice” by Nieves. Bautista


“castle” by Raymond Hoffman


“Reflections 5” by Miro Susta

City Lights
When the sky gets darker before the night starts, the lights from buildings are reflected on the water and magic happens.

“Place de la Bourse” by Iván Ferrero 

“Dublin Samuel Beckett Bridge” by Jean Claude Castor

“Amsterdam” by Adhemar Duro

Reflections on Glass Buildings Facades
Reflective glass surfaces of buildings offer interesting opportunities for a good shot.
Remember that soft light is going to work better for you than harsh light.  The reflections will be lesser strong and the contrasts more manageable.  Either early morning, early evening or an overcast day would be better..
A circular polarising filter also can help to control reflections.  You may have to try different points of view until you find the angle which is really effective. Alternatively, you can try a low angle perspective to get the sky reflected instead of other buildings.

“Glass Graffiti” by Zhecho Palninski AFIAP

“Reflections 1” by Miro Susta


“riflessione” by Gilbert Claes

Birds Reflections
I like capturing bird’s reflections. It is not an easy task because you have to take the photo at no or low wind conditions and you need good acceptable light on the bird.
Capturing birds is particularly difficult subjects.  How to control them is both a practical problem and a creative challenge.
The main goal to get a good bird reflection is to bring out the natural colours in the reflection.
Try to shoot from different angles to capture the best light.

“Success!” by Magnus Renmyr

“One big happy family” by Assaf Gavra


“Reflections in the lake” by Jose C. Lobato


Sunrise & Sunset Reflections
Obviously you will get a perfect reflection when you photograph a calm lake or sea at wind-still weather when the water is not moving at all.
Even moving ocean water, snow or ice will still reflect the colours of the sky.  If you get a sunrise or sunset with great colours you can improve that effect by including the reflected light in your composition.

“winter paradise” by Raymond Hoffmann

“Surfer on the shore” by Jois Domont


Reflections in Rain Water covered Surfaces & Puddles
Puddles or with rain covered surfaces are a surprising source of inspiration for reflection photographs.
Puddles are generally shallow holding in most situations.  
They can be found in many different locations, providing a variety of options for subjects and compositions.

“Untitled” by Antonio Grambone

“Puddle” by Martin Rak

“Reflections 13” by Miro Susta


Window Reflections
Window glass is great surface that will work fine for reflection photography.
This are images from different cities showing spooky reflections from the surrounding area.

“Reflections 14” by Miro Susta

“the swinging lamp” by Hans Peter Rank

“Little Boxes” by Anne Worner


Up-and-down Reflections without showing the Original Reflected Object
Some of the most beautiful reflection photos are created using water without showing the original reflected subject.  You only see the reflection and have an up-and-down image.

“Reflections-10” by Miro Susta


People’s Activity Reflections
It is important to look for anything that makes a dynamic and fascinating reflection. There are many occasions for reflection photos with people around.
They will definitely create an interesting add to the images.

“Tread” by Prateek Dubey

“Reflections of an ancient life” by Trevor Cole

Special Mirroring Photography
In this category I have included interesting images showing mirroring on several objects.

“Reflections-16” by Miro Susta

“Harley Davidson” by Miro Susta

“Reflections-17” by Miro Susta

“House arrest” by Sergio Rapagná

There are so many other opportunities to capture reflections.
The photographer must just walk with open eyes and focus on the surroundings.

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.  A solemn consideration when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those dark, clustered houses encloses it.” ~Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)

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Congratulations at all and thank you so much Miro ans Yvettte for this article.
Thank you Jois
Great collection!
Thank you Erik.
Magnificent article, with all the varieties and options in reflex photography. An incredible selection of jobs. Thank you very much for letting me participate in all of this. A big hug and a greeting for everyone.
You are most welcome Jose.