Photographing Your Mirror’s Image

            In the world of surveillance photography, we often find ourselves taking photographs in challenging setups.  Waiting hours, days, or months to capture an image and when the time has finally arrived, we only have one chance.

You’ve been cramped up in your vehicle, watching for action in your side mirror.  This is the only available angle you have and the distortion on our rear window is too great for a clear photograph.  The only option you have, is to take a facial identification photograph using your side mirror.

Many times, I’ve seen professionals using their 200mm+ lens but just can’t quite get the focus right when trying to capture a photo using their side mirror.

It is just one simple concept.  Pull out that small lens from your bag that you never use.  Remember, even though your subject is a block away, your focal length is only the distance from your lens to the image in the mirror.  Not the usual distance from your lens to the subject.  Your normal focal distance for surveillance photography can sometimes be a block away, but now you are trying to capture an image 18 inches away in your side mirror.

Use your shorter focal length lens and make a quick adjustment to manually focus to the distance to your side mirror.  Take a few practice photographs to make sure all your adjustments are correct and you will now be set, when your subject walks into your side mirror vision.

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