©Mike Curry

Mirrored Abstraction

It’s hard to tell at first glance, but Mike Curry’s “Fleeting Reflections” series are images of reflections captured on the surface of the water at London’s bustling Canary Wharf. Curry was photographing the area’s sleek skyscrapers for Canary Wharf Group when he was drawn to the water at the urban center’s edge. He appreciated how its rippling surface altered the angular lines of the buildings it reflected. Those reflections reminded him of the kaleidoscopic patterns he’d loved as a kid, he explains. “I tried one capture, and when I saw the results on the camera LCD, I was hooked.”

The patterns his camera captures with a fast shutter speed are often not visible to the naked eye, he says—they are, in fact, fleeting. That means getting one image that pleases him can take as many as a thousand captures, with the camera set to bracket three exposures for each capture, and three to four hours shooting the same small segment of water.   

“It takes a bit of experimentation to find a suitable area of water,” he adds. Once he’s found a spot, Curry experiments with test shots, refining the camera’s settings, perhaps by reducing the exposure compensation, to bring out the patterns. He describes the process as meditative and notes that he once made 999 captures for the perfect image. “For those four hours I had not a care in the world, and it was so relaxing,” he says. 

Amanda Arnold is a senior editor.