Reflected Light

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Most of my street photography takes place on the streets of Edinburgh, the Scottish capital city, and during the summer months, around mid-day, the light can sometimes be too bright and too harsh for good photography. To get around this and keep on shooting at this time of day I look for alternative light sources such as reflected light. Reflected light can often be much softer than direct sunlight and produces images that little bit different.

The image above was taken in the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh at around 1.00 pm in June 2014 when the sun was almost directly overhead and shining brightly down into the main gallery. It was the reflected light on the faces and bodies of the elderly couple that drew my attention.

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This next image, taken in April 2014, shows another example of the use of reflected light.

The location is Rose Street, Edinburgh, a narrow lane that runs East-West and parallel to Princess Street, one of the main shopping areas of the city. The light here is reflecting from adjacent shop windows, catching the light from the south and throwing it onto the buildings on the usually dark, north-facing side of the lane.

Reflected light is almost always worth looking out for and can be found at any time of the day, from early morning all the way through to late evenings, and throughout the year. It can take a bit of practice to spot reflected light, particularly when it’s only a small patch of light being reflected across the street. However, even a few square meters of reflected light on a dark background can make for amazing pictures.

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