Reflection in a stream

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


I’ve hiked along this stream for years. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve really paid attention to the reflections. I think it’s best when you can see what’s beneath the water as well as what’s reflected by the water. That requires careful adjustment of a polarizing filter.

Specific Feedback

Anything and everything.

Technical Details

ISO 100, 135mm, f/16, .6 second.

1 Like

Your polarizing filter and composition skills worked some magic here, Don. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but I can look at this image for a long, long time.

Thanks very much, Dennis.

Very cool and with an unusual twist. The largest trunk almost looks like it is not inverted by being reflected, but I don’t see how it could not be, so i guess its just a nice visual trick of an unusual shape.

Very nicely seen and presented!

I don’t know, Diane. Once I started looking at reflections I had tunnel vision. I was putting what I saw in mental 2X3 boxes, looking for a composition that I liked. I quit looking at the trees themselves.


Very well seen, captured and presented. Upon a second look and just from the smaller thumbnail view, the tree and trunk up top look real - ie. not a reflection; so I see the tree and canopy as drooping over the water - not sure if I’m explaining that well. Which I think is kinda what Diane was commenting on. Very cool visual effect. I think that effect was enhanced by the use of the polarizer and getting a good balance between the reflected, and non-reflected elements.

No nits or suggestions.

Quick little story on reflections. I have always been on the lookout for reflections. One day with my wife in the Eastern Sierra for fall color we were standing next to stream with some beautiful colors reflecting in the water. I asked my wife what she was seeing and she quickly replied… “a bunch of rocks.” (refering to the rocks at the bottom of the stream) So clearly she was not looking at or seeing the reflection. Which just goes to show how differently we all see things.

Keep on looking! :slight_smile:

Now I understand.

As for seeing reflections, I think most people are like your wife. Reflections aren’t “real” so our perceptions go right past them.

Yes, that’s what I was (trying to) comment on. That heavier reflecting trunk adds an attention-getting slightly surreal element that strengthens the image.

Don, terrific eye to spot this composition! There is a wonderful illusion happening in the frame with the reflection raining down on to the lower part of the image. Very cool! That dark main trunk really anchors the image.

I’d like to offer one suggestion. My eye is drawn to the brighter section in the upper right. Darkening that area would help keep my attention in the center.

Thanks, Alfredo. You’re right about that spot in the upper right. I’ll get rid of the highlights there.

Don, the mix of reflections and stream bottom looks very good. For me, there a strong invitation to paddle further into what feels like a swamp, following the bright bit near the top center. The reality of seeing the rocks plays a strong role in generating that wish to explore. Something that I don’t think a reflections only view would provide.

I agree. One thing I learned from this outing–last week–was that an image that includes both reflections and the bottom of the stream is probably going to be stronger than an image of either one alone.

Oooh, nice one, Don!

So true!

Thanks, Bonnie. :slight_smile: