Get Crafty Photographers by Christina Craft

EPISODE 9: HOW TO ROCK WINDOW REFLECTIONS (but not with real rocks because then they’d break)

Are you ready to see differently? After today’s episode you’re never going to look at your house the same way again. That’s because we’re creating art out of everyday window reflections. You’ll learn easy steps to train your eye for the best possible result.

The photo below is a reflection of a building onto a glass case over a movie poster for Allied with Brad Pitt. It was one of those back-lit movie posters that change every 15-20 seconds. I played around with several exposures until I got it the way I wanted it.

Notice how the darker shadows will become almost mirror-like, while the highlights look almost ghosted? That’s why high contrast can work for you with window reflections. I find window light reflections work best a few hours before sunset when the sun is lower in the sky, but it’s still bright and sunny.

Window Reflections Abstract Photography Class Lesson

We did a five minute challenge, exploring one corner of our friend’s house in Victoria and I experimented with layering reflections. This photo was taken looking through two windows. The first is the patio door window, and the second is the window for the sunroom. Derek is outside. The refracted light means Derek is obscured a little bit, making him look like he’s floating there.

Abstract experimental photography lesson class

ISO 320 f5 1/250th sec

Here’s a photo of Derek sitting inside the sunroom and he’s reflected into the door.

Abstract window reflections how to video tutorial

Photo lesson class for advanced creative

abstract experimental photography lesson

I kind of like how creepy Derek looks with the combinations of shadows and reflections over his face. It might not be as flattering on someone else… so be careful about stuff like that.
How to photograph window reflections in the bright sun
Study this reflection for a minute. You’ll see the flowers (behind me). Derek is walking to my right side and I snapped this photo as he walked into the shadow. He was in bright sun, which meant he was almost perfectly mirrored against the shadow that was cast into the window.

You sometimes need your subject very close to the window in order for the reflection to work. Here are a few examples where the subject was *thisclose* to the window (a few people thought this was a swimming pool, but it’s actually just a window with clouds reflecting onto it.

lace wedding dress
Lace Applique Edge wedding veil
The photo below is Calgary reflected into a car window. The bride is on the inside of the limo, and she’s close, but not super close to the window.  P.S. If you saw my five hacks video a few weeks ago, you know I’m also a fan of creating triangles within the frame.

Abstract window reflection photography weddings how to win contests Fearless

In the photo above, the shadows of the tree mean you can see the family inside the house. In the photo below, I had to supply the shadow. That’s my shadow blocking the sun so that my camera could see into the window, while still allowing the rest of the reflection to spread across the glass patio door.

family portrait photography tutorial lesson

This week I’d love to challenge you to take photos of the everyday reflections around you. Share your photo on our Facebook group, or hashtag it with #getcraftyphotographers on Instagram!

(By the way, bus stops make great layered reflections!)




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Get Crafty Photographers by Christina Craft