He Mastered Reflection Photography Using Just a Smartphone and Puddles
In difficult or hard times, we’re often told to ‘look on the bright side’ - or a popular choice for many: ‘chin up’. But what if we embraced those dark, rainy days and tilted our eyes slightly down towards the ground? That’s exactly what Wix photographer, Guido Ruiz did only to discover an original, captivating project called: The Parallel Worlds of Puddles.
It all started in Madrid when Guido was standing, waiting for a red light to change. He looked down to see a rain puddle - the reflection instantly sparked off his curiosity. He took out his smartphone and put the lens as close as he could to the water and that was the first discovery of the world of the ‘Upside Down’. Since then, he’s visited dozens of cities around the world, capturing their essence through the prism of their puddles. He proudly displays all his astonishing masterpieces on his photography website for all to enjoy. Thanks to his mastery and originality, Guido has rapidly became a social media phenomenon but he remains to be a true adventurer with a curious mind that’s always open to experimentation.
Get ready to “ooh” and “aah” as we showcase Guido’s best reflection photos, and share his indispensable tips on smartphone photography and creativity:
Hi Guido and welcome to the Wix Photography Blog. We’re super glad to have you with us today. Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, thank you for this great opportunity, its an honour to collaborate with you. My name is Guido Gutiérrez Ruiz, I am 28 years old, born and raised in Toronto, Canada and currently living in Madrid, Spain. I have a passion for traveling, tourism, and architecture and of course, taking pictures. I like to demonstrate that one does not need an expensive camera in order to take a beautiful picture. This is why I like to emphasize the importance of creativity and perspective when taking a picture. Since 2013, my only equipment for my photography has been and currently still is my Google Nexus 5.
What inspired you to photograph your first puddle?
It was pure coincidence! It started in Madrid when I was waiting to cross the street. Waiting at the red light I looked down, staring at a puddle which sparked my curiosity as to its reflection. So I took out my phone and put the lens as close as I could to the water and that is when I first discovered what was hidden in rain puddles.
Is there a reason you only use your phone to photograph these masterpieces?
To be honest, the main reason for my switch from my DSLR to my smartphone was for convenience. I am not a big fan of having to take heavy equipment around as I like to travel light. Also, the process of editing (the only editing tools I use are those available on Instagram) is a much easier and faster process. I can take the picture, edit it, send it to a friend or post it within 5 minutes, whereas with a DSLR, that’s impossible.
What are some of the challenges and advantages you have with using a smartphone for photography?
The only challenge for me is the battery drain of the phone. This made me buy an external battery pack. Oh, and of course the storage space. I currently have over 5000 pictures on my phone so every once in awhile I have to save them on my computer. As for the advantages: Fast and easy... It’s as simple as that.
Can you share a few tips for taking professional-looking pictures with a smartphone?
You may think this is silly, but it’s one of the most effective tips I can ever give. Here it goes: clean your lens! (And never with your finger, with your shirt is good enough.) Remember to always clean the lens of the phone, for maximum clarity. We tend to forget all the dust and dirt our phones have while they are in our pockets or on top of tables.
Second tip: Practice getting creative! Play with the perspective and lines of your photos, and natural elements involved such as sun rays, birds, people crossing.
You have a very popular Instagram account. Can you tell us a bit about that journey?
There’s no tip or secret here. My journey through Instagram has been quite progressive. However, my Instagram account had begun to take off with my parallel worlds of puddle series. Ever since I started taking pictures of these rain puddles, I have begun to see my Instagram community grow and grow.
You’ve photographed many cities around the world. Any particular favorite?
I wouldn't be able to choose a particular place. Every picture I have taken in different locations tells its own story of that specific place and time. Although there are many picturesque cities that make you want to return to them like Porto, Seville, or Bordeaux. Every city has its own beauty.
Was there something specific that made you choose Wix to create your website?
The same reason that I take pictures with my phone :) It’s fast, easy, and the quality is great. When I first heard about Wix, I started to investigate and from the very beginning, I knew this is where I wanted to take my first step of displaying my photographs.I could not be happier with my choice.
According to you, what are the necessary elements of a photographer’s website?
Just like a photograph, I like the first impression to be "wow". Having said this, my main objective was for my website to be purely visual. Also adding posts that give a ‘behind the scenes’ of my travels and a little bit about me.
The final word is yours. A dazzling thought to share? A quote to savor? A love declaration? A photographer manifesto? You have carte blanche!
"Learn to enjoy" - this phrase makes you stop and think. Enjoy the present, and what you have as well as your current journey you are living. The second phrase is "Why not!?". This is one of the phrases I like to always refer to, both as a question and an exclamation.
We are sometimes pushed back from doing things by over thinking and always tend to think of their negative outcomes. I am a person that likes to see the brighter side of things; the ‘puddle’ is always half full for me :)
By Taira Sabo