Take time to reflect
While unpacking the Christmas decorations, why not grab a bauble and head out to capture some creative still lifes. That curved, shiny surface gives you a whole new way to capture a seasonal scene. Whether you’re faced with a winter wonderland or a brightly lit cityscape, this fun technique provides a unique and very festive perspective.
Capturing a scene in this way involves some incredibly wide angles due to the spherical surface of the bauble. It can also be quite tricky to get the scale correct; we were able to capture the entire west end of Bath Abbey quite comfortably in the frame, despite shooting only a few metres from the walls. But persevere, and you’ll have a unique Christmas reflection in no time at all.
Step-by-step: Deck the tree
1. Look behind you
Look for interesting backgrounds opposite strong subjects – your bauble will be between the two. We hung our bauble from a small Christmas tree to reflect the well-lit Abbey, and used the warm orange arches of the arcade behind as the background.
2. Hide your camera
Put your camera on a tripod, focused on the reflection. A tripod allows you to set a longer exposure after dark, fine-tune your composition, and remove your own reflection from the shot. Try to disguise the camera within the image – if there’s a dark area, hide it within the shadows.
3. Walk away
We used ISO200 to keep the quality up and f/5.6 to blur out the background, along with tungsten white balance to correct the colour cast from the street lights. Switch your drive mode to 10-second timer so that you can press the shutter release and the move away.
This feature was originally published in N-Photo Magazine, to subscribe, click here