Using water as a background to get a shot against reflected light from it though narrows the theme of photography; nonetheless, one can get situations and occasions with sun reflecting light from the water and subject in the foreground. Such scene can be captured near lakes or on the sea-shores.
In fact, the light being reflected from water give a special lighting impact on your subject and offer creative possibilities for its use. The amount of light that is reflected upward depends strongly on the height of the sun, place of photography, time of day and season of the year.
A rough water surface due to waves absorbs more light. Moreover, the water-reflected light is partly polarised which is maximal in the early morning and late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky.
Moreover, when the water is very calm, its undulations give a different effect and when turbulent its entirely different effect. The effect of water background is also called crinkle effect.
To increase the crinkle effect, choose very calm water with the subject close to the water surface and use no flash light with the camera set to short time exposures. On the other hand, to decrease the crinkle effect, choose ruffled water and work deeper down on the still subject with a flash with long time exposures and Use a wide angle lens.
The inset collage shows the crickle effect of ruffled water by working down on the subjects at the sunset time for trying my hand on such photography for the first time.