I love to go to places like the zoo and the aquarium. Many of the animals (and nearly all of the exhibits in the aquarium) are behind glass, or more likely plexiglass. But those aren’t the only places where you often want to shoot through glass. Even shooting through my kitchen window into the backyard, I want to create images that are as lifelike as possible, so I need to take specific steps to make sure the glass isn’t a factor in the image.
Here are a few tips to help you take some good photography in this environment.
- For Natural Light: The closer your object is to the glass, the closer you’ll need to be to to the glass to eliminate any glares.
- For Flash: You’ll literally want your lens against the glass. Take along a rubber lens hood that has enough length on it that it can be against the glass and then you can position the lens at an angle other than 90 degrees to the glass
- Arrived prepared. Take along some Windex wipes to clean the glass where you want to shoot. This will eliminate all the little fingerprint smudges and body oils that are on the surface of the glass.
- Look for areas in the glass that are not scuffed or scratched. Sometimes cleaning just doesn’t fix it. If the glass is actually scuffed or scratched you need to move on to another place for your photo.
I’d love to take any of these photos in their natural environment and not have to worry about the glass….but that isn’t always possible. Don’t be afraid to work with the glass, just be prepared and think through the shot before you take it.