Amazing Photographic Technique Using a Mirror


There is a particular technique in photography that can create some stunning pictures – it uses simply a black screen and a mirror. Done correctly, you will get a striking image of the subject with strong reflections underneath; on a black background, this looks particularly impressive.

Create the Setup

You will need a tabletop near a window to do this more effectively. Then take a black trifold board – trifold means it will prop itself up on the table so you don’t need to faff around with anything else. Stores like Staples sell these kind of display boards, but if you can’t obtain one, you can use any sort of black background, like some black velvet. Then in front of the black background, place your large mirror flat on the table.

Get your camera on a tripod, pointing down at a high angle to the mirror. When you experiment with the positioning, you’ll see how this changes the relection in the mirror that you’re trying to capture.

Get the settings right

You may want the reflection of the subject to be just out of focus, so you will want an aperture of around f/4, but experiment with different apertures to see what works best for you. It often depends on the subject itself as to whether the aperture works in the right way. Remember that wide angle lenses product a larger depth of field, and you will probably want low shutter speeds to get the softer effect you’re after. Just be sure to check each photograph you take so that you can make the necessary adjustments to improve the shot.

Choosing the subject

The nature of this setup means that you don’t want to go photographing large objects – stick to smaller subjects that you can easily manage with this photograph technique. Food is a perfect item to use, but anything with vibrant colour suits this very well. You will need to avoid shiny objects though, as you will see the reflection of everything else in the room on the subject.

Later Adjustments

Use software such as Photoshop to get your photographs looking perfect. Usually it’s just the black background that needs adjustment, so that the black background is true black. So open a Levels adjustmeny layer and using the eyedropper set to black, click on a spot that should be pure black on the background; this sets the black point.

This technique in photography produces some stunning images, so have fun with it!

The Mirror Shop sells a wide range of mirrors including large wall mirrors

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