Round 8 Reflection

Round eight of APOY 2009 is one of our most exciting rounds yet. Reflection offers you the opportunity to slow things down and examine the world around you more closely. Those angles and perspectives you walk past and step over every day on your way to somewhere else may hide beautiful patches of reflected light. It could be a stand of trees, clouds in office windows, or perhaps something more abstract. Capturing a reflection adds an extra element to your photograph, transforming a snapshot of commuters at the bus stop into a powerful portrait, or the curvature of a swan?s neck into something more surreal.

Below we have offered some tips and techniques to help you get started. We hope to see a diverse group of images this month, and judging by past rounds we?re sure we will. We would also like to remind you that you must include your address and details of your image in your email entry so we can judge your photograph accurately. Also, without your address and other contact details, we cannot reach you in the event that you win. For full details how to enter via email go to APOY 2009.

Reflections are all around us, and we walk past them every day without even noticing them. Puddles of water following a heavy rain, office blocks, even the moon in the night sky is a reflection of sunlight. If we want to get philosophical, we could even argue that every picture is a reflection of the photographer?s experience with a subject. However, for the sake of our overworked judges, we?re keeping the definition to its more popular, more literal definition.

There are many places in which you might find a reflection, most commonly in water and glass. With a keen eye you can also find them in darkly coloured plastic or sheets of metal.

When you?ve found a reflection, try walking around it to get a different angle of view or include more reflected objects in your frame. Likewise, crouching down low for a different perspective can also give you a fuller view of the subject in your reflection. Think about what subjects you?ve seen before and how you can show them differently. We?ve provided some tips on the right to help get you started.


There is a simple rule to photographing reflections in windows: sunlight must be falling on one subject, which is reflecting onto a second subject that is immersed in shade. This is why city streets are such goldmines for reflections.

Tall glass skyscrapers and windowed office blocks extend into the sunshine and reflect dramatic scenes onto the buildings opposite. To capture a vivid image, try underexposing by up to 1 stop to enrich colour and make non-reflective areas of glass appear black. Also remember to stand at an angle that keeps you out of the frame.


A strong water reflection doesn?t always require travelling to your nearest lake. For urban scenes, look for puddles after rain.

You?d be surprised how much a small puddle can reflect. For the best results, take a reading from a section of the water that doesn?t contain a reflection and then lock that exposure. Next, give yourself a small aperture to ensure that you get a wide depth of field and capture as much detail as possible in your reflection.


It?s hard to resist a good pond reflection. It can add an extra element to a scene and gives us a new view on the world. However, when shooting across a large body of water, even the slightest breeze can cause ripples and spoil a reflection, as you can see in this pond.

To ensure that your reflections are clear and dramatic, try shooting early in the morning. This is one of the best times to capture reflections because you will usually encounter less wind, keeping reflected objects crisp, while the low sun will fill your scene with golden light.

1st prize

Our first-place winner will receive Canon?s 12.2MP EOS 450D body, worth £669.99, featuring 3.5fps capture capability for a continuous burst of up to 53 large JPEG images (six in raw). Its nine-point wide-area AF accommodates off-centre subjects, and its EOS Integrated Cleaning System keeps images blemish-free. Other features include a 3in LCD with Live View mode and a DIGIC III processor. The winner will also receive Canon?s dust and moisture-resistant EF-S 17-40 f/4.0 L USM lens, worth £889.99, which offers superb optical performance throughout the zoom range.

2nd prize

Our second-place winner will receive Canon?s PIXMA MP980 printer, worth £329. This 9600x2400dpi-resolution, 1pl ink droplet printer is the ultimate all-in-one device, delivering superior photolab-quality 10x15cm prints in 20 seconds, with dedicated grey ink for ultimate monochrome images. The MP980 also features 35mm film and slide scanning at 4800dpi, ChromaLife100                                                               +system, 8.8cm TFT display and an Adobe                                                               Photoshop plug-in.

3rd prize

Canon?s PowerShot A480, worth £119, goes to our third-place winner. With ten million pixels and 3.3x optical zoom, the PowerShot A480 offers 15 shooting modes, 1cm macro shooting, face detection, auto redeye correction, motion detection technology, and VGA and LP movies, making it a great all-rounder.

For full details how to enter via email go to APOY 2009.

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