Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shooting Through Glass

Have you ever been disappointed at photos taken through a glass display case? Perhaps you were at a museum or the zoo trying to capture the memory of that animal on the other side. How about shooting through a tour bus window? Was there a lot of distracting glare? Here's a few tricks that photographers use to avoid this situation:

  1. Wear black - Many times the glare comes from what you are wearing. A black jacket or shirt can do a lot to shield stray light.
  2. Shoot off angle - If your using a flash, it will certainly bounce off the glass and ruin the shot. Try moving off axis by 30 degrees or so.
  3. Shoot head on - Crank up the ISO on your camera to use the available light in the display case. Turn off your flash and get as close to the glass as you can. You can even lightly rest the lens on the surface of the glass, provided the optics in your lens don't touch and cause a scratch. The glass will help steady the camera so you don't get any motion blur.
  4. Use your hands - Cup your hand around the lens to block out the stray light. You might even try asking your spouse, child significant other to cup his or her hands around the lens.
  5. Lay something dark on the floor - If the room has a light colored floor causing the glare, lay your dark jacket on the floor to block it out.
  6. Hold smomething dark near the camera - Move the camera out of the way and look at where the reflection is coming from. Use a dark jacket spread over your hand to see if you can get rid of the reflection. Then replace the camera and take your shot
Try these out next time you know that there will be a piece of glass between you and a great photo.

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