In Search of Reflections

As we grow and develop our photography skills, one thing that we try do to is hone the ability to spot things in our surroundings that could make a good photo.  There are a lot of distracting and complex details in our world, but a good photographic eye can block out parts of a scene and zero in on the parts that, properly framed and edited, could make a stunning image.

I’ve been to the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge many times, but I always find something new to take pictures of. Here is a photo of the old barn windows, with reflections of the other barn’s windows showing up in the panes.

Windows in Windows

Windows in Windows

I did the post processing in Aperture and Nik Color Efex Pro 4. These two barns were built almost 100 years ago when the land was privately owned! Now the government uses them for environmental research. I was drawn to the reflections in the windows, and the sun was at the right angle to light up the other barn.

Here is a last shot of the day, when I had almost reached my car. My 70-200mm lens was cropping the scene a little too much, so I pulled out my “nifty fifty” (EF 50mm f/1.8 II) and screwed on a polarizer.

Spring Branches

Spring Branches

The circular polarizer is a pretty amazing little filter. How can it cut out the bright, flaring types of reflection, but leave the true, saturated reflections? Pretty cool!

Sometimes reflections are not defined shadows of objects which cast them. Sometimes they are simply a color, like the reflected sky in the water in this picture of the twin barns from across a flooded marsh.

Twin Barns - Spring

Twin Barns – Spring

So the point I was making earlier, is that none of these things stand out to the casual observer. The place is just a lot of trees, grass, and water with a couple barns. But by zeroing in and focusing on specific parts of the environment, I was able to find and create some interesting images. This is a skill I am trying to develop further: spotting what will make good photos.