JP Quick Tip – Photography Through Glass

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.

  1. Avoid shooting at an angle
  2. Never have your light source pointed directly at the glass, it will only cause more reflections
  3. If you are indoors, try to control any unnecessary light sources that create reflections. Turn off the lights and close those blinds
  4. Put your lens or camera as close as possible to the glass. Your body can help block out some of the reflections
  5. 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

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Peter Carrion, Photographer