HOW TO PHOTO THROUGH A WINDOW TO AVOID REFLECTIONS
Photography art knows no boundaries – and a window pane with annoying glare and reflection of a dissatisfied because of this author should not be an obstacle to creativity. Many professional landscape painters have their own tricks – they successfully get rid of unwanted effects, making impressive images of panoramas or night cities. Justin Tierney is one of the photographers who can shoot through glass. A professional concert composer and cinematographer, he creates unusual projects. In them, music and visual solutions merge into a single bewitching time-lapse, repeating the pulsation of the rhythm of megacities.
Justin is a Yale graduate (now receiving a PhD from Duke University). He investigated the problem of reflections with purely academic meticulousness. While working in Japan, he shot from Tokyo’s high viewing towers, where it is impossible to avoid contact with glasses. Time Laps are a complex art form, especially when it comes to Tierney’s projects (night-time observations of city life). He summarized his experience in the article, proposing several solutions – we propose to use copyright developments.
Justin Tierney night city shot through glass
Turn down the brightness
If you are shooting from a hotel room or other room where you can control the light, do everything possible to minimize its flow. If you are talking about night shooting, use all the shadows, blinds, devices that you find. Close the camera to block unwanted light. When shooting in the daytime, blinds and curtains, on the contrary, create unwanted reflections, and they need to be removed.
If you are photographing on an observation tower or in any place where it is impossible to control the lighting, try to find a dark spot in the room, architectural elements (columns, support beams, etc.) that can be used as a barrier to blocking light.
Try to get as close as possible.
Position the lens as close to the glass as possible. Justin uses the long Arca Swiss two-meter quick tripod, which is easy to adjust. It is not necessary to touch the glass so that vibration and friction do not damage the lens, but minimizing the distance allows you to remove most of the unwanted reflections.
Capabilities of “skirts” for lenses
The protective casing “skirt” that can be mounted on the lens, Justin considers his best find. It cuts off reflections almost completely, with the possible exception of pictures from sharp angular positions of the camera. It can be folded compactly for transportation – another advantage.
It is desirable that the “skirt” be as large as possible – especially when shooting with a wide-angle lens. It is difficult to work with large casings if the camera is located at a sharp angle, but it is not difficult to fix it. It is enough to attach a tape to the edges of the “skirt” to expand the coverage area and fasten the seams. If the price tag of $ 50 seems overpriced, you can make a casing yourself.
Try working with polaris
Many photographers successfully remove reflections from glasses using polarizing filters. Justin Tierney says that his devices either completely “work” or give no result at all – there are no intermediate options. Polarians reduce glare, but do not eliminate them entirely, which can only worsen the situation. If you can’t afford the luxury of shooting with external monitors, you won’t be able to tell in advance if there is a reflection or not. On the miniature LCD screen of the camera, they may not be visible. However, when viewing results on a large PC monitor, photographers often overtake cruel disappointment.
Another problem with polarizing filters is that for each lens you need to take along (and before that – buy) a separate filter. You can, of course, supplement the design with adapter rings. But, given the already dubious effectiveness of polarizing filters for these shooting conditions, it is better to avoid additional piles.
Try working with a rubber hood
Justin himself was not convinced of the need for its installation, but then came to the conclusion that it is effective if the camera is aimed straight. If you often tilt the camera sideways or down to achieve more complex compositions, the lens hood will not block reflections so well.