Recently I took a series of pictures that include the reflection of a hill on some water. Upon reviewing the pictures I noticed that the right edge of the hill's reflection appears to abruptly end at a certain point. All the pictures I took where within a ~40 foot spot, and the interesting reflection is present to different extents in every one. I am unsure if this is an odd phenomena or me simply not understanding reflections. For reference, the pictures were taken at 64°55'53.8"N 23°19'18.3"W facing north-northwest. Taken with an iPhone Xs with no significant settings changed off default.

So my question is: what would explain this reflection?

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Apologies if I am asking this in the wrong place.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What camera type? What camera settings? What post-processing? If it's a smartphone camera it can be a bug in the post-processing. \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Sep 21, 2019 at 8:17

1 Answer 1


It would appear like you are at some height above the water level. You can get the view mirrored in the water if you mirror your own position on the water level, getting lower by twice your current height above water level. The skyline appears to be composed by a block to the left and a slope further to the right that lies further back but appears almost in line with the block in the unmirrored view. When you descend to the depth of your down-mirrored self, however, the block in front rises higher in view than the slope behind it does.

The perspective of mirror and self will only be the same right at the water level. The difference of perspective due to your height above the water is what causes the block in the reflection to have significantly different vertical position than the slope behind it.


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