nathan cohen , Sep 02, 2003; 01:17 p.m.
Too many (good) questions. I will help with a couple.
The best reflection shots happen with well illuminated subjects against a clear blue sky. That means the sun should not be in front but in back of your position.
Use a circular polarizer and remove it if you don't like it.
The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection, so often--but not always--that means getting at a near grazing angle. Expect to hunker down a lot.
Often, but not always, the best shots are with still water. And the best candidates for still water are very shallow ponds, and especially puddles.
Its often more interesting to have something in the water itself be visible, either by sticking or growing out of it.
Use a tripod.
Smooth out the water a bit with long (1-4 second) exposures. Stop down. Use f/16 or smaller for great depth of field.
Expose for the reflection and then drop down on shutter speed.
Use a ND filter if you have it, but don't use it as a crutch. Typically an occulting board works as well. I used an occulting board on my 'self similar' shot (in my portfolio) a few weeks back.
Teach yourself to see the reflection rather than the water, It takes a bit of effort IMO. Learn from others experience and mistakes. Here's an attached example:-) My friend had the wrong angle from this vantage point. I rib him about it with this shot.
Oops! Wrong shot! (c) 2002 Nathan Cohen