• Mark White

Reflections and the Art of Bringing Some Fun into Work


I mentioned in my previous post on reflections that during my walkabouts I capture reflections as a game, a way to challenge myself while having some fun. It's turned out that because of those games, I've been able to add some fun to my work assignments. There's not a work assignment that I've taken that I haven't tried to capture reflections.


My most obvious examples come from the May 30 George Floyd Protest in downtown Seattle. In the midst of the pandemonium of tear gas and car fires, I noticed the flames reflecting off of the GAP storefront.


These were not easy to capture. I had to keep my lens focused on the glass until the protesters milling about had cleared away enough to get a clean shot. I didn't want anyone to draw attention away from flag-draped man in the top image, or the pattern of flames in the second one.


And when this protester took his position with the burning police car directly behind him to set up his own photo opp, he gave me another way to frame the storefront flames.




During one of my Covid Walks, in which I documented various areas of the city during the Stay at Home orders, I came across a young man in Pioneer Square who was in severe distress. He could have been high or in some kind of psychological anguish. I have a rule not to capture people in severely "vulnerable" positions without their permission. At the same time, there was little value in capturing his full image; it seemed somehow capricious to me.


But I noticed his foot. From a distance, he seemed to be fixated on the reflection of his foot in the storefront glass. So that's what I focused on. It's more of a straight glass-as-mirror shot, rather than the composite of imagery I've been talking about. But I see this image as another example of how my experiences in shooting into storefront glass have helped me to enlarge my points of view.

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At a Black Lives Matter "Stand with Shoreline Youth" rally, the young organizers and speakers gathered in a circle on Shoreline's City Hall steps just before the event started. They were all you and were all nervous. Whether they were praying, or giving each other support, or gathering in a moment of silence, I saw this as an important moment to capture.


This is not a successful picture in my mind; there is too much garbage in the foreground fighting for attention. In retrospect I wish I had gotten closer to the huddle, but at that moment I saw the potential to capture them in reflection in the City Hall's glass front. However, because of the fencing behind me, I couldn't get the angle to do it right.


But again, it's an example of how I'm always thinking in terms of reflection framing -- whether in my street shooting walkabouts, or work assignments.


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© 2016-2020 MARK WHITE  |  mark@mjwhitephotos.com I 206.409.1247

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