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Reflected Light E-mail
(5 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   
Sunday, 01 November 2009 09:35
Assignment Number Nine
You may have already figured out the secret of photography. The name is a hint. Photo + graph = "Writing with light." Photography is not about capturing things, objects or people. That's what snapshots are for. Photography is about capturing light, pure and simple. As Claude Monet pointed out late in the 19th century, the object is different, moment to moment. The same object at noon or at sunrise, with backlighting or front lighting is/are different objects. How very quantumly mechanical! Even our grammar is unable to cope.

Reflected light provides a new dynamic to your photos. Reflected light can, like backlighting, be used to enhance the object as in the picture of Lions Gate Bridge below. Or, as in the other three examples, reflected light can become the subject itself, at once transforming an object and being transformed by it, becoming something altogether different from the sum of its constituent parts.

In this assignment, take your camera someplace new and look for objects that reflect and distort existing natural and artificial light. Explore those reflections. Look for shiny surfaces like windows or ponds or puddles; cars or sunglasses or regular glasses filled with ice cubes. Reflect on reflections and create a new world of splashes and distortions. And most of all, enjoy.

Click Image to Zoom

The early morning sun reflecting off rails and rail cars becomes an abstract pattern of lines, parallelograms and ovoids in this scene of the train yard just north of Vancouver's Gastown.
Gastown train cars

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More conventional, the reflected light of a setting sun is used here to add a little panache to the silhouette of Lions Gate Bridge and, in turn, to the water in front of it.
Lion's Gate Bridge

Click Image to Zoom

An explosion of light sears commuter hell into memory in this image of a passenger train rumbling through an Osaka suburb.
Osaka Passenger Train

Click Image to Zoom

The entire composition here is reflected light. Taken at Vancouver's Coal Harbour.
Reflections on a Skyline

All photographs were taken by Brian Grover. To browse more images visit my photo gallery here: Brian Grover Photography.


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In addition to viewing these assignments online, you can subscribe, having them delivered to your e-mail account on a biweekly basis over the course of an entire year. Subscribing helps to give you regular reminders and motivation to get out and shoot. To subscribe read the Introduction.


Copyright © 2007 Brian Grover. Content Distribution is Prohibited
The graphical images and content hosted at are viewable for private use only. All other rights - including, but not limited to, distribution, duplication, and publication by any means - are the exclusive property of Brian Grover and Whisky-Jack Communications. International law provides criminal and civil penalties for those found to be in violation.

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