Shooting a Reflected Portrait Using Your Surroundings

This image of former Superbike World Champion James Toseland looks simple, but it’s not – a whole bunch of circumstances had to come together for it to work.

The lighting is from the top – it was shot during the middle of the day. Normally this would cause a lack of detail in the subject’s face, but the white walls all around has bounced beautiful soft light into all the right places (seen in the subject’s glasses). The dark, shadowed wall in the background is the perfect contrast to the subject’s face.

The woman talking to Toseland is reflected in his sunglasses: beware, you need to use an aperture small enough to capture the depth of field to both subjects. Using f/8 has given me enough depth for both people but kept the background soft.

Canon EOS 1D MarkIIN, EF 24-105L IS USM @ 97mm, ISO 320, 1/640th @ f/8, Aperture Priority.