Puddles, yes, puddles!
Water fascinates me, something I have mentioned before, but even in a normal city scene it can really add an extra dimension to a shot, often literally.
This is probably nothing new for most of you, you’ve probably already taken a puddle shot, but to others new into photography, it is worth noting how useful it is to look into puddles. Often, when in a city, I have walked around puddles, bent down, crouched gazed side to side just to see what may be reflected. It’s worth doing! Albeit some people walk past looking at you like you are a bit strange...I can live with that!
Most people of course have taken reflections in landscapes. The sun shining on a scene that is reflected in a lake. It’s gorgeous. The same applies to puddles, whether out in nature, or in the middle of a city. Look in the puddles!
I mentioned in my post photographing the icons of Florence how a sudden thunderstorm followed by a gorgeous golden sunset meant some wonderful shots were possible, not just directly at the buildings, but also by shooting in to puddles. This shot for example. Carefully lined up in front of Il Duomo to capture the front and Giotto’s bell tower, only to find out when I’d finished that a bus load of Japenese girls had started to do exactly what I had done. All crouching down laughing and smiling at the results. I did that – partly.
Reflections at Sunset f/8, 1/30, 38mm, ISO2500
Later the same evening, different puddle, it was dark and most of the tourist crowds had disappeared. The scene at the Uffizi Museum, itself a stunning example of Florentine architecture the illuminated architecture was lit up inside a puddle. It had to be done. It was too dark, I really needed a tripod to get a sharp exposure. The handheld shot with a high ISO still gave a borderline shutter speed. It's too soft really, but here it is! I knew any higher than ISO800 wouldn't be handled too well by my camera.
Beneath your feet f/5, 0.6sec, 15mm, ISO800
Previous trips abroad have also lead to similar captures. Here in İl Campo Di Fiore in Rome, again after a thunderstorm followed by a brighter sunset. Shooting low again, this time with much brighter skies, led to an alternate perspective on the scene.
Another World Opens f/8, 1/30, 15mm, ISO160
And again in the nearby side streets to the Trevi Fountain, which itself was under serious renovation during our visit..
Gold Cobblestones f/5.6, 1/80, 44mm, ISO160
Puddles in cities can give a very different perspective, especially when brighter light follows a recent shower. If you see a good sized puddle, ideally with still water unaffected by a breeze, and strong light hitting the scene around you, get down low and see what you can find! But also get creative with it. It doesn’t have to be still water, the ripples after someone walks through to add another dimension to the shot. Something I will wait for next time I find a puddle with a good picture inside!
Do you have any good shots into puddles? Share links here. I’ll comment and reply!
The Frustrated Photog.