Technique: Using Reflections in Images
Reflections can take an ordinary image and open a door into a new visual dimension. You can try for the most obvious, like reflections off a lake or pool of water, but look more carefully and you'll see possibilities everywhere. In the photo on the right, I had driven into Boston to do a shoot with a model who was a no-show. So I used the time instead of getting overly irritated. It had been raining, which meant wet streets and another reflective surface. In general, expose for the primary scene and not the reflected copy. Some light gets lost and so it will be a bit dimmer. The one condition you should watch is a light that gets reflected directly from a surface into the camera lens, causing flare and throwing off your exposure calculations. Just reposition yourself or frame the shot a bit differently to get that out of the scene.
If you are using a body of water as the reflector, you might be able to disturb the surface, maybe by tossing a stone, to get a second effect and image after you've shot with the smooth reflection. You can see many more examples of reflection as a compositional element
by clicking on the link to a feature in Smashing Magazine. Some of these are outstanding, going beyond reflection as an element of mood (like I did in my photo) and using it to create unworldly scenes, where the original and the reflection meet and turn into abstracted patterns. At the bottom of the feature are additional links to other collections of reflection in images.
Labels: composition, technique