While at a shoot for West Steel & Plastics, Inc. early last month, I came across a very common photography feat – shooting through glass. The photo shoot was to capture its services, laser-cutting being a huge part of the business. I wanted to capture the lasers in action, but a giant glass shield separated my lens from the sparks. (For my safety, but still causing difficulties.)
That’s when I decided to write a blog to help out my fellow professional photographers, photography enthusiasts and awe-inspiring Instagramers shoot through glass. Whether you’re using your DSLR or the camera on your phone, shooting through glass can be a tricky thing. Distracting reflections, like fluorescent lights or even reflections of yourself, can ruin a potentially phenomenal photo.
Let’s say you want to shoot through a storefront, or need to photograph an object behind safety glass. You have a few options to try to minimize those pesky reflections.
- Avoid shooting at an angle
- Never have your light source pointed directly at the glass, it will only cause more reflections
- If you are indoors, try to control any unnecessary light sources that create reflections. Turn off the lights and close those blinds
- Put your lens or camera as close as possible to the glass. Your body can help block out some of the reflections
- Buy an adequate-sized sheet of black velvet. Have someone help you hold it in front of the glass. Make a hole or cross slit in the middle of the sheet, stick your lens through the hole and shoot