One of my favorite images came from a bit of luck with the weather and taking an old idea and quite literally flipping it on its head.
When I go out to shoot, I often try to think of different ways to capture ordinary scenes. For this shot, there had just been a flash rain storm and there were large puddles everywhere. I knew from past experience that I could get some good reflection shots since they were so big. We’ve all done the reflection shots, and they can be pretty cool, but I wanted to do something a bit different with this one. So I decided to see if I could mix up the real world and the mirrored world. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the portion that is right side up is in reality the reflected image.
I played around with the composition so that I would have a typical street scene showing and left only a small portion of the “real” world to provide the optical trick. In order to get this scene, I lucked out and no one walked, or drove, through the puddle while I was setting it up. It also helped that it was a narrow street with a couple of people walking to fill out the scene.
At this point, the water was still too cloudy and wouldn’t complete the illusion. I then brought this into Photoshop Camera Raw and increased the blacks, brightness and contrast slightly (7, +64, +41 respectively). It was better but still needed a bit of work so I then opened it in Photoshop where I added some layers:
Exposure Adjustment – I left the exposure alone but increased Gamma Correction
Brightness/Contrast Adjustment – Significantly increased Brightness and another small increase to Contrast
I then used 2 High Pass Filters – One for Fine Detail and another for Medium Detail to increase sharpness
Hopefully this inspires you to try flipping something usual around. If so, I’d love to see what you come up with.