You may have already figured out the secret of photography. The name is a hint. Photo + graph = "Writing with light." Photography is not about capturing things, objects or people. That's what snapshots are for. Photography is about capturing light, pure and simple. As Claude Monet pointed out late in the 19th century, the object is different, moment to moment. The same object at noon or at sunrise, with backlighting or front lighting is/are different objects. How very quantumly mechanical! Even our grammar is unable to cope.

Reflected light provides a new dynamic to your photos. Reflected light can, like backlighting, be used to enhance the object as in the picture of Lions Gate Bridge below. Or, as in the other three examples, reflected light can become the subject itself, at once transforming an object and being transformed by it, becoming something altogether different from the sum of its constituent parts.

In this assignment, take your camera someplace new and look for objects that reflect and distort existing natural and artificial light. Explore those reflections. Look for shiny surfaces like windows or ponds or puddles; cars or sunglasses or regular glasses filled with ice cubes. Reflect on reflections and create a new world of splashes and distortions. And most of all, enjoy.

 lesson4 1

The early morning sun reflecting off rails and rail cars becomes an abstract pattern of lines, parallelograms and ovoids in this scene of the train yard just north of Vancouver's Gastown.

 lesson4 2

More conventional, the reflected light of a setting sun is used here to add a little panache to the silhouette of Lions Gate Bridge and, in turn, to the water in front of it.

 lesson4 3

An explosion of light sears commuter hell into memory in this image of a passenger train rumbling through an Osaka suburb.

 lesson4 4

The entire composition here is reflected light. Taken at Vancouver's Coal Harbour.

All photographs were taken by Brian Grover.

The End