Photo Challenge Week 4 Recap: Reflections

The Week Four assignment is now wrapped up, so it is time for us to reflect on the many great photos that we’ve seen (sorry, I just couldn’t resist making the pun). Here are a few images that caught my eye that I think are worthy of further discussion. As always, click on the images to leave comments or questions for the photographers.

This week’s best shots

Allison Davies submitted this really fantastic reflection photo that I think demonstrates the kind of “out of the box” thinking that I really want to see from participants in this Challenge. A photo like this pushes past the standard “pretty scene reflected in water” composition, and explores the boundaries of artistic abstraction, which is exactly what we should all be doing. I love the pattern reflected in the spoon, it really makes this composition engaging. Congrats Allison on a fantastic photo!

For this adventure photo submitted by Andrea Torselli‎, the reflection is not really the centerpiece of the composition, but is rather just an accent. But it really enhances the overall design by creating leading lines directing the eye from the foreground to the spelunker in the background. The photo would be interesting without the reflection, but with the reflection, it really stands out as something special.

Jennifer Melder Cross’ photo relies on just a few simple visual elements, which if taken alone might not make an interesting photo. But by using a higher perspective, she was able to include the reflection of the sky and the sun in the still water, taking this photo to a higher level. The shoreline helps to frame the boat and the reflection, keeping the viewer’s eye within the composition, and the bright reflected clouds around the boat enhance its visual importance. The final result is very pleasing!

The next photo, submitted by Jim Boynton, stands out because of the dramatic lighting. The dark background really makes the subject (and its reflection) pop off of the page. I can’t help but wish for some water droplets on the surface—a lot of macro and small critter photographers carry around a spray bottle for that very reason—just something to consider for future shoots! But this photo is stunning as is.

Allison Mayes submitted this very well-executed traditional reflection shot. The still blue water is perfect for reflecting the bird, creating a mirror image. For photos like this, a 50/50 split composition is often the best approach—but it is always good to experiment with other variations.

Finally, Kevin Travis posted this beguiling photo of a woman reflected in a mirror. I especially love how the head scarf frames her face and focuses attention on her eyes. The juxtaposition of her face and her reflection creates some cognitive dissonance, which triggers the viewer’s curiosity. I can’t tear my eyes away from this one!

These were just a few of the amazing photos that caught my eye. As usual, there were many other great shots posted by the group. Everyone should be extremely proud of their contributions, and of their progress so far in this Photo Challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing what Week Five brings. Good luck!


About the author: World-renowned professional photographer and Tamron Image Master Ian Plant is a frequent contributor to several leading photo magazines and the author of numerous books and instructional videos. You can see more of Ian’s work at

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