3 years ago1,000+ Views
In the photo above it is clear that when viewed at this angle with the naked eye there is no apparent bright light source hitting the front of my 120 year old hall tree... yet in the mirror - placed just inches away - the reflection of the front of my hall tree when viewed from the angle provided by the mirror - shows bright reflections off the hand-carved wood scroll on the front. Mirrors are powerful tools that a photographer or cinematographer can use to capture an alternate but simultaneous view of their subjects. Regardless if it is a still life or a person - light and even the very manner in which a subject is perceived can be greatly altered through the reflection cast in a mirror.
I will often use mirrors in my shoots for they can add much in the way of altering how light and your subject interact. Notice that from this angle (shot by my assistant) that there are multiple shadows (being cast from the light and the light's reflection in the mirrors) behind the main subject.
Light can be bounced - redirected - altered - or focused through the use of a mirror. In this - the shot I took with my camera a moment after the photo above was shot - there are no shadows visible from this angle. Mirrors can distort light and trick the eye.
You can capture multiple facets, sides, features of your subject in a single shot.
Or you can use a reflection to help tell a story - or help focus a particular point of view.
Mirrors allow you the ability to break a visual reality by adding a totally different angle/view/reality in the same frame.
Mirrors can help you present a unique view of the world around you that otherwise might not be communicated visually.
Try shooting some photos through or using a mirror in the frame... Let me know if you think the mirror added something of value to your photo(s). I'd love to know! I personally try to shoot through or with a mirror whenever I can do so naturally (for the mirror is part of the environment I find myself working in) or if motivated... in narrative film/video/photography motivation is crucial for building a believable world - a story that supports the "suspension of disbelief" - or the ability to get lost in the narrative and forget you are watching a story. Try it sometime! :D
@JonPatrickHyde oooh good to know! It seems like the point and click cameras now are for more casual use? They're definitely easier to get a handle on in my experience- it's usually the direction I recommend to my dad since he gets frustrated fiddling with setting and learning all the ins and outs of a camera.
@shannonl5 - also - the shot of me shooting the model with the mirrors - that's a Canon 5D MKII with a Nikon 105mm f2.5 AIS lens mounted to it. The two photos of her (finished) were shot with that Canon body and Nikon lens combo. The self portrait through the car mirror - that's a Nikon D1x with a Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens. The self portrait through the stand-up Victorian mirror was shot on 35mm film with my Nikon F5 and a Nikon 24mm f/2.8D lens. The shot on the ferry to Sapelo Island, Ga - was shot with a Nikon D5000 using a .5 wide angle adapter The last shot - in the bathroom mirror - was again my Nikon F5 (35mm film) using that same 24mm f/2.8D series lens. And the very first photo in this card was shot with my Nikon D4s and the amazing 300mm f/2.8 AF-S Mark II lens (the lightest, sharpest, best 300mm lens Nikon has ever produced - it is my go-to lens for anything outdoors).
Ha! @shannonl5 - speaking of which camera is best for beginners - that was an early but advanced Nikon point and click - in the early 2000's Nikon toyed with creating a "professional" level point and click... Zeiss fixed lens but with the sensor out of their DSLR - the D1x - at 5.5 megapixels and featuring a standard 52mm thread that allowed you to add fixed lens extensions (a 2x zoom, a .5 wide-angle adapter, and the iPix 182 degree fish-eye lens for shooting 360 degree interactive photos for the internet) it was a respectable camera. I did several operating room shoots with that camera. Ultimately the DSLRs and the point and clicks moved further away in purpose, function, and price - and a new class of entry level DSLRs was created - and the point and clicks became smaller and less featured... but it was an interesting spur of development for a couple of years.
I love the one you took on the boat! It's a really engaging image