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Capture Spectacular Mountain Reflections

Monday, August 31st, 2015 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography

Mountains, rivers and lakes together make up for some mighty inspiring subjects in landscape photography. Capturing the reflection of the peaks, mist, snow and the beautiful landscape of the mountains in the calm pools and serene lakes can result in some breathtaking visuals. Imagine capturing all of these elements of nature in a single frame. However, it is an uphill task to capture mountain reflections. Following these tips might make it an easier downhill ride.

Happy shutter-bugging!

Know the weather and location

Landscape photography demands systematic planning. You have to know the best case and worst scenarios and be prepared for both. Otherwise, you will end up disappointed . To give you some perspective, there is no point setting out for a photo expedition on a windy day. You can’t expect perfectly still water to capture the reflections. Know your surroundings, particularly the location of the reflective pools, the windbreaks, the changing water levels and so on. It will help you choose your spot wisely and give you an advantage to capture unique images.


Adjust the polarizer

Although some photographers shy away from using any kind of polarisers, it is actually a must in harsh climates, be it sunny or downcast skies. The result is nothing short of fantastic. You only have to see it to believe it. Take this lake shot for example. You need to take at least two versions of the lake scenes with the polarizer in different positions. If you shoot it without a polarizer, you will get a gorgeous mirror-like reflection. But, you will be missing out on the underwater details. The other version with the polarizer will reveal the details under the water by reducing the reflection. Blend these two exposures in Photoshop to get the best of both worlds for some spectacular views. You could even call it, underwater HDR. If you are looking for HDR inspiration, just head over to Trey Ratcliff’s website and check out his HDR tutorial.


Shooting super-wide doesn’t mean great composition

It is unnecessary to shoot mountain reflections with a wide lens . A super-wide lens tends to reduce the size of the mighty mountains and magnifies the foreground. This might work when you are fairly close to the subject. But, remember to keep a distance to capture the grandeur of the mountains and their reflection.


Get creative with clouds

Clouds can make the subject look dynamic. The changing patterns, forms and colors of the cloud can result in some cool imagery.  A blend of mountain reflection and clouds can create vibrant and unique images of the scenery.


Break the monotony

Clean and perfect images, without any disruptions may not always make your pictures unique and exclusive. Interruptions and imperfections can make for some extraordinarily original pictures. Instead of capturing complete and perfect reflections, bring in other components that can tell a story. Interrupt the mirror-like reflections with rocks, ice formations, river bends and branches. These interesting elements in your foreground can draw you to the center of the image and make it more fascinating.


Get off your sweet spot

To compose that perfect shot, you have to first unsettle yourself and get familiar with the rocky terrain. Pick the favorite spot of the mountain range you want to capture. Find the same spot reflected on your foreground. To capture the picture you have in mind, you have to get out of your comfort zone. Step back further, adjust the tripod lower or go all the way down to place the reflection where you want. Be ready to break your back to capture the gigantic mountain reflections in your lenses.

~ Zahid Haroon Javali / Pics: Pixabay


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