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Idea: Photograph Your City Skyline in the Reflection of a Lens



Here’s a neat photo idea: capture a city’s skyline in the reflection on the front of a camera lens. Photographer Christopher Anderson recently shot this picture of the Minneapolis, Minnesota skyline — a picture that landed on the front page of Reddit.

Anderson tells us,

I was out shooting at a fairly popular lookout spot that overlooks Highway 35W and Minneapolis in the distance. After initially taking a few photos, I tilt my lens upwards to find some dust on my filter. I suppose I tilted it at the right angle where I noticed Minneapolis was reflecting in my filter. Yes it’s reflected in the filter, not the lens, but I thought reflecting in my lens had a better ring than filter.

It was just something I thought was neat so I took out my iPhone and took a few snaps of Minneapolis reflecting off my filter.

A crop showing a closer view of the reflection
A crop showing a closer view of the reflection

The Reddit post also attracted its fair share of skeptics, with some commenters accusing Anderson of using digital manipulation on the image.

Many started claiming it was Photoshopped. How can the lens and body of the camera be out of focus, but the skyline and grass be in focus? How come the reflected image is much darker? There were even people asking why the grass in the reflected image is overgrown, but the grass beneath my camera is mowed, haha.

Here’s a short followup video Anderson created afterward, showing how you can shoot the same photograph using a polarizing filter:

You can check out some of Anderson’s serious photo work over on his website.

Image credit: Photograph by Christopher Anderson and used with permission