2009年3月6日 星期五

Techniques of shooting water reflection pictures

I enjoy shooting pictures of fishing ports. They are full of color, form, lines and water reflection images. In other words, they have all the major elements of a beautiful picture. During Chinese Lunar New Year (2011), I stayed with my wife’s family in Donggang (East Port) which is a beautiful fishing port located in southern Taiwan, with sunshine almost all year around.


Donggang (East Port) is a beautiful fishing port in southern Taiwan. BenQ S1410, Program mode.

During my stay, I would ride a bicycle circling around the fishing port if it was a sunny day with blue skies. For the sake of cycling, I could only carry a small bag in which I put my money, a mobile phone and a BenQ S1420 (or S1410). The camera is compact but good enough for me to take good pictures.



The techniques

1. To take pictures in the morning

In the morning, the air is much cleaner and more transparent, and the lighting is soft. It’s easier for you to take hight-saturated and colorful pictures. The following pictures were taken at around 08:30-10:00 in the morning when the sun was about 30-45 degrees above the horizon.


To take pictures in the morning has a good chance of getting much more saturated pictures. BenQ S1410, Program mode.


2. To use front lighting

To take water reflection images, you'd be better using front lighting. In other words, the light should cast directly on the subjects. Thus, the houses and fishing boats would reflect on the water.


Front lighting is key to acquire a beautiful water reflection image. BenQ S1410, Program mode.

 3. To choose a suitable shooting mode

Several modes can be applied to shoot water reflection images. I chose the program mode that is smart enough to take good pictures on a sunny day. Besides, it offers several parameters (functions), such as white balance, exposure compensation and metering mode.





The program mode offers 7 parameters. 

4. To search for color, form and lines

On a sunny day with blue skies, it’s easy to take colorful pictures in a fishing port. However, if you are shooting a scene without abundant colors, you can, instead, add form and lines to your picture.

For example, the original picture below was not colorful enough, but the water reflection image contained beautiful form and lines of the boats. Therefore, I changed the color mode to black-and-white (B/W) so as to emphasize the contour of the fishing boats reflected on the water.


This picture is not colorful but has beautiful form and lines. BenQ 1420, program mode.


Under program mode, I selected B&W mode to take a black & white picture (next one) and re-enforced the form and lines of the boats reflected on water. BenQ 1420.

Finally, I arranged the water reflection boats in an oblique line and in order of size, from big to small. In doing so, I applied the biggest one, on the left bottom of the frame, as a foreground to expand the depth of the picture and created a three-dimensional picture.





At the same spot, I re-composed and took a vertical, black-and-white picture. BenQ 1420, program mode.

The following two images were originally color photos but not colorful enough. I changed them into black-and-white with Photoshop. They look more beautiful than what they actually were. The pictures were taken with BenQ 1420.






A fishing port, like Donggang (East port), offers picturesque scenery for everyone. If you visit it at the right time and keep the techniques I mention in mind, you can also take beautiful water reflection pictures mixed with red, yellow, blue, white and green colors.


BenQ S1420, Program mode.



BenQ S1420, Program mode.



BenQ S1410, Program mode.