There's always an appropriate time in one's life for reflection - but sometimes you have to recognise the fact that it's not the appropriate opportunity. No, I'm not referring to metaphorical reflection, I'm referring to literal reflection! Me, I always have time for reflection of the soul, but in this case I'm talking about reflection in the objects that you photograph.
I'm always drawn to an image that comprises an unusual reflection, as most of you know. But a couple of weekends ago, I wanted to photograph this guitar in bright sunlight, to try and get the little chrome dials and knobs to throw a reflection on the rich burgundy surface of the guitar's body. I used the splendid SMC Pentax-DA 1:2.8mm lens for this experiment.
So I took the first shot (above) with one of the five tiny knobs slap-bang in the middle of the frame. Yeah, all good. Happy with the result. On the LCD screen, it looked like a fairly decent shot. I could see the tiny indentations on the knob clearly, and I could see the reflection as well.
Then I spotted something else. When I started the experiment, I hadn't realised that the concave top of the knob would act as a perfect fisheye lens. Have a close look and you'll see what I mean. The top of the knob is a faithful reflection of the sky as well as my surroundings, producing a full 360-degree view across its entire circumference.
That's when I decided to shoot one more frame, to try and get a clearer shot of the sky. This time I shifted slightly, so if you compare the two frames, you'll see that the second one (below) is off-centre but produces a much stronger image. Both shots are taken at F6.7 and with an ISO speed of 200, but the second one is clearly superior in every respect.
Symmetry is good in all aspects of life, but I always advise photographers to look for an asymmetrical view as well. You never know which result will turn out better - and let me tell you that looking at any situation from more than one viewpoint works pretty well in approaching real life as well.
Photography is a lot like life. We learn something every day. And like life itself, it's our duty to pass on the knowledge that we are fortunate to glean. Let me know if you agree.
(The Odd Shots concept came from Katney. Say "G'day" to her.)