Finding Mirrors

As a cityscape photographer, reflections are very important key elements for me (or everyone?). I always seek them and try to include one for my composition.

A reflection can turn an ordinary subject into an extraordinary one. Also reflections give famous landmarks or unique architectures, which have been captured by many, much unique perspectives. Let’s pay attention to reflections around the subject which can make your photo different from others.

So where can you find reflections?

1.Windows (and glasses)

There are no shortage of windows in the city. There is a building, it has windows. A well polished windows work like  mirrors.

Black Mirror by Yoshihiko Wada on

Fukoku-seimei building, Osaka, Japan
Nikon D800E, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
16stops(10stops+6stops) 300seconds exposure.
165mm Firecrest ND for with Lucroit 165mm system for ultra-wide lenses

The windows made abstracted  pattern across the street.

Black Glass by Yoshihiko Wada on

Fukoku-seimei building, Osaka, Japan
D7000,AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Firecrest 16 Filter (77mm), 200 seconds exposure

A well designed architecture, especially having many glasses, has many vantage points. When you are capturing an unique architecture, examine the architecture before settle your tripod.


There is a point where you can shoot a perfect (virtually ) symmetry. To get a better symmetric image, you need to close the windows as much as you can. when you find a nice reflection on the window, you should make one step  further for the building.

Twilight Mirror by Yoshihiko Wada on

Twilight Mirror,D600,AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR,No Filter

From the Observation floorUmeda Sky building , I shot this with the lens actually touching the window.

ATTACK ON HARUCAS by Yoshihiko Wada on



S.O.D  sense of dimension:Ⅰ by Yoshihiko Wada on


Tokyo International Forum: actually the original image was upside down.


S.O.D sense of dimension:Ⅲ by Yoshihiko Wada on




A non-reflective surface such as brick can still enhance a composition when a mirrored surface reflects onto it. In this circumstances the texture of the wall can compliment or accentuate reflected light.

TRANSCENDENCE by Yoshihiko Wada on

[Transcendence]Nikon D600
AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR
Firecrest 16 Filters, 300seconds exposure.

The reflection of the Trance America Pyramid was only partial, but it gave the photo a far more unique perspective than simply shooting the architecture.


Distorted Reality by Yoshihiko Wada on

[Distorted Reality]Nikon D800E, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED,
16stops(10stops+6stops) 300seconds exposure,
165mm Firecrest ND for with Lucroit 165mm system for ultra-wide lenses

The mottled texture of the wall on the left gave the reflection a softer appearance. 

3. water

I especially love reflections in water. You can find these on a lake, a river, the sea, even in a puddle. Long exposures with a sky reflected in water can give an especially powerful effect.

Between The Eternity by Yoshihiko Wada on

[Between the Eternity]Nikon D800E
PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED
Firecrest 16 Filters, 180seconds exposure.

Long exposure made the water surface super flat. 


Alone in the Darkness by Yoshihiko Wada on

[Alone in the Darkness]神戸・会下山トンネル, Egeyama-tunnel, Koube, Japan

This old river tunnel was closed many years ago however is opened once a year for the public. 




Some Japanese traditional gardens were so well designed that you can find easily a perfect symmetry on the water surface.

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