Reflections can be found on many different surfaces and they provide the opportunity to produce creative images. Some provide smooth and uninterrupted surfaces while others add a ripple texture with variations of the reflected effect. In the natural world, the diversity of mirrored surfaces isn’t as great, reducing the number of photographic opportunities. Landscape photographers often rely on still water for this effect. This necessitates there being no wind. Early mornings and late evenings are the best time to find these circumstances and it is also the ideal time of day for the best light although some of my examples will contradict this. Still, water reflections provide the landscape photographer with great opportunities to make attractive images.
When I started drafting this I expected to find in my portfolio many images that I could utilise to illustrate such reflections only to find that there was no more than a dozen available to me which confirms the point I made above about the number of opportunities that come along for such reflections are limited. I have chosen as my first example an image captured from the shoreline at Ballachulish just on the western side of Glencoe looking east across Loch Leven towards the distinctively shaped Pap of Glencoe. If I recall correctly the weather had been quite bad with heavy rain and low cloud and I had spent most of the afternoon driving around Loch Leven looking for photo opportunities without any success. It was the early evening and I was just about to return to my base for the night and decided to have one last look along this shoreline and was fortunate enough to get a break in the clouds and a splash of sunlight for all of ten minutes which enabled me to capture the image below which as proved to be one of the most popular images in my portfolio. Although the water surface was relatively still near the shoreline there was still slight movement further out creating some nice textures emphasised by the sunlight and reflections.
The second example is from Snowdonia, Tal-y-llyn lake or Llyn Mwyngil and shows probably the most perfect reflections I have ever seen and captured. This, believe it or not, in October and I had decided to take a drive to the forests south of Machynlleth to see how the Autumn colours were developing. Seeing how glorious the weather was around the lake I took the opportunity to take a drive down the eastern shoreline. Part way down I glanced back to see the view up the lake and was amazed at the reflections on the water surface. Quickly finding a safe place to park, which was not easy, and climbing over a fence I managed to reach the waters edge just in time to capture this view looking northeast up the Bwlch Llyn Bach pass. The conditions were perfectly still except for very slight movement on the water surface just in front of me and with such stillness, it was hard to believe that I was only a few yards away from a busy road.
Back to Scotland now and my trip to the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park a few years back and in particular the area just beyond Milton before the main waters of Loch Ard. It was Autumn again and the purpose of my trip to capture the stunning colours in the forests at that time of year. It was a grey overcast day and I had decided to take a walk around the forest areas on the south of Loch Ard and started along the shoreline of the smaller lochans. I couldn’t believe my luck as I walked along and looked across the water to the wonderful colours reflecting on the water. This was midday and the conditions were again perfectly still. Some may find this image too busy and that it makes them feel dizzy but for me, I like the perfect symmetry only interrupted by the row of brightly coloured boathouses in the distance which provides a focal point in the mass of Autumn colours.
The final image in this series of reflections in nature I found whilst looking for suitable images to use and is one that has not been released before and takes us back to Snowdonia in winter. It is of Llynnau Mymbr, near Capel Curig but captured from the southeastern side of the lake rather than the normal iconic view of the lakes and the Snowdon Horseshoe. It was captured many years ago on my first digital camera, a Fuji 6900Z.
Having rediscovered this image I decided to use it as an example for two reasons. The first being the hillside colours reflecting in the water which contrast so vividly with the bright blue winter sky which is equally well reflected in the water. The second reason is the silhouetted tree which is so sharp and crisp providing a nice frame to the right of the image. This again was captured at midday with perfectly still conditions and not even a sign of any water movement. Hope you like it as much as I do.
In sharing with you these “Reflections in Nature” it has highlighted to me that they represent a very small part of my whole portfolio with opportunities to capture such scenes being few and far between and maybe confirms why they continue to prove so popular over time with visitors to my site.