Tricks to Taking the Perfect Reflection Photo

I am often asked my favourite style of photography, and it’s a hard questions, because I love taking photos of anything, anywhere. Capturing a moment in time through my eyes and my perception. It gives me a little thrill!

However, if you look at my social media, where the pics are more what I like to photograph, rather than what I am paid to photograph, I tend to favour reflection type shots. Ok, I’ll admit, I am a self obsessed reflection junkie. And judging by the reaction when I post one, many other people are too.

You may think that they are difficult, but honestly, it’s not rocket science. But there are a few tips and tricks.

It’s all about the light the winds – and if you are shooting for a water reflection at the beach, it’s also about the tides.

Firstly, the light. The best reflection shot is in low light and usually with a bit of cloud around to add to the reflection, but as you can see from my examples, it’s not imperative.

The weather must be calm. You are never going to get a good reflection shot in strong winds. Basically, the reflection is in the water, and so the water must be calm, which means the wind must be calm to allow this – simple right. Get a good app and check the conditions before you head out.

If you’re shooting at the beach, you want the refection from the the water in the sand. This is best on an incoming tide where you will get the water streaming up the beach and leaving a nice glossy reflection in the sand for a few seconds as it recedes back.

Once you have your perfect shot you’re happy with, there’s a couple of editing tips for reflections too. Firstly, play with the highlights. I usually bring them down a fair way. And the new texture tool on Lightroom will give you good detail in your shot, just don’t push it too far. I sometimes pull the clarity down just a touch to offset the texture so it’s a softer image, but have a play and see what you think.

Finally, be prepared that you may not get your shot the first time. I post a pic and its easy to think I just dashed out, took a quick snap and presto, its a perfect reflection. Sometimes it will take me 5, 10 even 20 trips out to get the shot (and more importantly the conditions) right so don’t give up, it’s definitely worth it once you nail that perfect reflection shot.

For more ideas, go to either my Instagram or Facebook pages @Jules Ingall and of course, as always feel free to comment or DM me with any questions at all.

Happy Shooting

Most Insta-grammable Spots In Lithuania

When I travel somewhere new, I do always want to shoot my first impression images – what stands out and “gets” me in new surroundings.  But saying that, I also don’t want to miss out on anything so I do my research prior to visiting.  And that’s what I’m sharing here with you.  This was my first visit to Lithuania and wow, I was totally blow away. From the history, to the gorgeous laneways to the old town.  It’s incredible.  If you’re going for the first time, these are some of the places that I would suggest you don’t miss out.  Oh and a little tip, the “old town” is not too large to be seen on foot, where you see the best of hidden laneways, derelict buildings and hidden gems.  

Start in the Town Square, day or night there’s lots of activity and beautiful buildings

Town Square at night

The Vilnius University has a great old chapel as well as beautiful buildings and corridors to explore

Vilnius University Grounds

The corridors of Lithuania University

The laneways of Vilnius are some of my favourite in the whole Baltic region.  Lots of colourful old doors, cobble stone streets and interesting windows.

Back street laneway in Old Town Vilnius
Cobble Stone Streets in Old Town Vilnius
Interesting Wall Art in the Back Streets
Old Town Vilnius

There are actually 40 churches in the old town of Vilnius. What is interesting though is, as you visit them, they are more of a tourist attraction than a place of worship so don’t worry if you’re not religious.  A guide is always a good idea as there are some really interesting historical stories

One of the many churches
More Churches

Vilnius Cathedral

Vilnius Cathedral
Inside Vilnius Cathedral

Vilnius Library founded in 1570 it is the oldest library in the Baltic States with with over 5 million documents. Relocated to a modern new building in 2013 which is well worth the wander through

The Library
Interesting art display in the library

Cant miss the bohemian district of Uzupis – just outside the Old Town. They have their own tongue in cheek “constitution” and if you can talk with the locals, a great historical story. 

Uzupis District
Bohemian Streets of Uzupis

Trakai is a famous town about 20 minutes drive from Vilnius with the legendary Trakai Castle, originally built in 1408 and then rebuilt in the 20thcentury. It’s a weekend escape for Vilnius locals with plenty of lakes for locals to swim in.  Also great local Kibinai traditional foods to try at local eating houses.

Trakai Castle
Exploring the old Walls of Trakai Castle

If you’re on a driving tour of Lithuania, the resort town of Anykscia is recommend on a lot of tourist websites.  To be honest, I could take it or leave it.  It was a nice relaxing rest after all the walking and tourist activities of the few days before, so I’ll leave it up to you.  There is the Laju Takas park with tree top walk.

Tree top walk
Tree Top walk

We stayed at the Spa Vilnius Anyksciai which did have a lovely day spa, indoor pool and plenty of forest area to relax and explore around it.

Collecting pine cones in the forest

It’s Ok Not Being InstaFamous

I met my husband as a teenager, fell madly in love and gave up all my career aspirations to follow him around the world chasing his dream job, followed by having children.  There just wasn’t time for me to think about investing myself in a career oriented future.  Don’t get me wrong, it was 100% my choice and I wouldn’t give up the life I have had for anything.  But now, my husband’s career is self sufficient, my children are teenagers who think I’m an irrelevant and I’m often left with too much time to ponder. Particularly in today’s modern world, there is so much emphasis (and pressure) on women to be everything.  Be the perfect mother, the Stepford wife, the master chef and as if that’s not enough, now we have to be entrepreneur career successes as well.  

There definitely came a time where I was getting bored.  I had to jump back in the saddle and work, not for money, luckily financially we are good, but this gave me the perfect opportunity to work for love.  Go back to photography.  Being the wife of a successful athlete, mediocre wasn’t in my vocabulary so I wanted to be the best.  I researched, went to seminars, studied, and pretty much worked my butt off. I was the quintessential definition of the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time I spent forging my revived career was time wasted.  

I listened to all the podcasts and read all the books from these inspirational successful mums who changed their lives and became a massive success.  In fairness, none ever profess that it was over night.  They all say it was hard work with a lot of knock backs and I admire the hell out of these ladies.  They are doing it all and winning.

But I recently had an epiphany.  Here I was trying to change the world, be someone successful, follow every piece of advice from every other successful woman I admired and still, I was getting nowhere.  But then I realised, I don’t want to change the world, I don’t want to have a huge social media following or people know my name.  I just want  to do the job I love, do it well and make my small little stamp in my corner of the universe.  Leave behind a few images that inspire others.

It’s okay to be alone.  There have been times where I have been in a room full of people, but felt my loneliest.  I can get more value out of a quiet corner and a great book, than having to be at every social function and coffee morning.  Less is more.  Surround yourself with fewer people but make them the right people.  If someone doesn’t make you feel good about yourself or happy, if you feel like you are always trying to compete or live up to their expectations, firstly, this is your problem and they probably don’t care, but they’re not your tribe.  You need to step back and focus on what and who it is you want to be.

The one thing I have discovered in my travels and research, there are lots of other ladies out there like me.  Sure, I’m confident travelling, solo, with groups, men anyone really, any excuse.  But I have found that there are women a bit older, financially stable, but not venturing out because they don’t have the confidence.  They want to explore, get out of their comfort zone, stretch their boundaries, but how to do it?  As a seasoned traveller, I came up with the bright idea of “Women’s only” luxury tours in conjunction with a National Travel Agency.  Nothing huge.  Our recent tours have been discovering Tasmania, and they’ve been incredible. A small group of women, road tripping – think Thelma and Louise meets Eat, Pray Love, and we’ve giving women the confidence to not rule the world, but just start to embrace their own corner of the world.  

Sadly, in today’s overly politically correct society, there has been some backlash.  On some recent advertising of the upcoming trips, there have been messages about “if men did this”, “it’s discrimination, why can’t men attend” etc.  So I’m at a loss.  How do we build confidence in women with responses like this?  I only hope it encourages more women to take the leap and ignore the haters – after all, there’s always going to be a few.  

What would happen to the world if, god forbid, Instagram shut down, or the internet shut down?  Ok so based on probability, that’s never going to happen but these people that have built their life on their online world, what do they really have?  Where do all those “fans” go if the platform goes away?  Are we turning out back on our real life for this instant gratification? I know I have been guilty of it in the past.  And that’s where I am trying to refocus my priorities.  

I guess what I am really trying to say here is, we are on a planet of billions of people.  There is room for all of us.  If your goal is thousands of social media follows, Insta glory, then go for it. There’s a big business out there for you and it’s happening for loads of people.   But for the rest of us, it’s okay too.  There’s plenty of avenues to pursue and plenty of work.  Think outside the square, but most importantly, whatever you do, do it with passion and honesty, at least that way, no matter what, you have always won!

Things not Bling’s with Voco Gold Coast

It was my husband’s birthday recently. On the one hand, he is trying to forget birthdays and on the other hand, I’m stressing out trying to find him that something special.  But I’m married to the man who has everything.  It’s not like he’s too hard to please, but other than a new Rolls Royce Wraith or a Breitling watch, gifts just don’t cut it for him, he honestly has everything.  So these days, rather than trying to buy him a gift he will probably just return, I opt for a far better option, particularly considering how busy life seems to be.  I DO something.  Whether that be arrange an experience that we can do together, or like this year, a getaway, just the two of us. 

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Apple of the Eye

We’ve all seen pretty pictures of Tasmania, striking red boulders contrasting the white sandy beaches, crystal waters, not to mention the award-winning food and wine.  As a photographer, it’s been on my bucket list for a while, so I decided to get together a bunch of girlfriends and jump in a car to find the best places to explore on a road trip.

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Sailing the Whitsundays – Disconnect to Reconnect

In today’s modern world, we are all getting busier.  We are time poor and with the invasion of social media in recent years, family time is rare, but more importantly -priceless.

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Gold Coast’s Most Instagramable Locations

It’s the new trend. We are all travelling more and with this, comes sharing our adventures on Social Media.  Often, a great “Instagramable” location can determine our destination choice.  In fact, many people travel to a location purely with the aim of getting that perfect “Instagram shot”.

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Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Most of us have travelled to Sydney, but if you’re anything like me, every trip has been for a purpose – work, or an event.  The cosmopolitan capital is not somewhere that I would usually go for a “holiday”, yet there are so many things on  my bucket list that I just never seem to find the time to tick off.

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