Monday, March 5, 2012

Reflections

I've written about reflections in previous entries here and here. Both of those discussed reflections in windows and through glass. A few days ago I was doing a photo walk with a friend in the DUMBO (District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) section of Brooklyn. We happened upon a street near the Manhattan Bridge with puddles of water that reflected the underside of the bridge. Each of these images where shot about a block apart, and there was about a half hour between each of them. The difference in temperature of the light was quite dramatic. 

The shallowness of the puddle allowed the texture of the gravel underneath to give a mottled appearance to the surface of the water. In both images I needed to get low to the puddle and shoot more horizontally to get more of the reflection and less of the gravel at the bottom of the water. 

My usual workflow is to optimize images in color - contrast, clarity, sharpness, separation between foreground and background - before I convert to b/w. When I processed the first image as a monochrome, the effect of the light was nowhere near as dramatic as it was in color. 


In this second image, the sun was much lower on the horizon and the color of the light had warmed quite a bit. The play of the sunlight streaming under the bridge and the much cooler light of the darkening sky and clouds create a feeling of depth that belies the shallow reality of the puddle and gravel at it's edges.