Why am I able to see the top of the pictures even though they aren’t facing the reflexive surface. The light would have to travel down through the picture
As FGSUZ said, an object doesn't have to face a reflective surface to be seen as an reflection in it. I made the following picture to illustrate it for a 2D illustration:
Two dimensions are sufficient to illustrate it, and it seems to be clearer that way. You can see now that an object doesn't have to face a reflective surface for its image to be reflected from it. The sufficient condition is that the object is visible from a point at the reflective surface.
The light is bouncing off the top of the picture and hitting a point on the table that then goes to your eye. The image you see in the reflection appears to be under the picture frame but it really isn’t.
I used a pencil to point to where the top corner of the picture frame is being reflected from.
The confusion comes because you think that something can be seen if it is facing the reflective surface. But that's not true.
Check iamge 1. You think (if I understood right) that the rays from the upper part are "passing hrough the photo" to impact the table...
But that is not what is happening. Check that, if you can see the reflection, that's because the reflection is going to your eyes.
But if you can see the reflection, that's because the rays are going to the palce where the reflection is seen. Check iamge 2:
If the ray were not going there, you wouldn't see the reflection there
You see the reflection because a virtual image is being formed on the table. You see the virtual image on the table. That image is obviously separate from the photo. As long as there is a small angle, it can be seen.
You know, according to Snell's law, the reflected ray will emerge to your eye with the same angle of incidence.
The light coming off the top of the pictures does not have to travel down through the picture, as you say. Take one point on the top of a picture. Because there is a light source beyond the picture, a bundle of rays diverge from that point and strike an area on the table between the picture and you. These rays reflect off of the table, still diverging, and enter you eye. As with a mirror, which the table top is acting as, your eye follows the rays back and they appear to come from a point under the table, forming the (virtual) image of the point on top of the picture.