Photography through Glass – not Google Glass but ordinary Window Glass! Reflections and distortions helps for creative photography but it can be difficult art. In Adobe Photoshop, you will notice a filter for adding this effect – because this effect can be desired but difficult to master. In older days, in Film Photography, the number of attempts were limited due prohibitive cost of Films. There can different situations where the refractive index can change – Photography through Glass Window is easier as the interface is – air-glass-air but in case of an aquarium, it is more difficult as it is air-glass-water. Varied and wider the number of interfaces, more difficult the situation becomes to photograph. For 4+ such layers, we will need a tripod for a stable Photograph. This kind of situation can arise inside a museum – think about a specimen inside a jar which itself is kept behind a shelve with glass window.
Photography through Glass : The Basics
It is not easy to take a picture through a window without facing a few small problems. How should we position our camera relative to the window? How to remove glare? Or rather how to use the composition? Follow our tips for great pictures through a glass surface. Before you start, keep in mind that glass reflects when light is stronger from the side of the camera.
You may have noticed, making a focus on a subject that is on the other side of a glass surface, is a real headache. If you get a focus somehow, there are reflections that will spoil the picture. The best way to avoid the development of a reflection or imperfection of the glass (and therefore having a blur focus) is to come closer to the window. Or better, if you have the opportunity, stick your lens directly on the surface. In this case, it is better to use a wide-angle lens. Instead of sticking directly the lens (or filter) on the glass, use your Lens Hood. There is a special Lens Hood named Rubber Lens Hood – this helps to virtually create a barrier to any-kind of light coming from Camera’s side. Rubber Lens Hood allows to use the Flash light. Obviously, avoid using the Flash if you are using a normal Lens Hood or nothing.
Keep in mind that, reflections become more apparent in certain angles – avoid the angles which is imparting more reflections. These methods are to subtract the undesired effect imparted by the glass – we basically do not want to show the fact – there was a glass in-between. You may try a Polarizing Filter, in case the scene outside is on daylight.
Photography through Glass : Camera Mode and Others
In case it is impossible for you to come closest possible or place the lens virtually directly on the glass, it will be more complicated to make an auto focus fully correct. Autofocus will focus on the glass surface, you could get the photographs of the dirts, not the scene provided that the lighting is equal on both sides of the glass. Autofocus will work if you are in dark and other side of the glass is either of different refractive index or too bright – excellent example is an Aquarium. To sharpen the picture, a tripod is ideal. Also, if possible, try to clean the glass for greater clarity. Now, coming to the point of Manual focus – it fully what is written in the article – What Camera Mode to Choose Depending on the Situation. A shift lens may be needed in certain situations.
Photography through Glass : Using the Glass itself
This is fully different idea from the above – we are deliberately adding the effects exerted by the Glass. If the above tips can eliminate glare and reflections, you can use them in reverse way as a part of composition – they are not always harmful and may also be part of your photo. Feel free to play with them by integrating reflected on the glass to compose an image element. A photo where several images are superimposed can bring the mystery. To use only the external reflections, make sure not to capture your own reflection (by avoid holding the lens perpendicular to the surface). Slightly tilt your device to 35° or like that or use a circular polarizing filter (if it really fits depending on the situation). These works nicely to bring a happy sense in the photograph – reflections of lamps on the window and something happening outside, excellent for wedding ceremony, for example.
Photography through Glass : Glass as an Art Object
Photography through Glass will become a bit misleading to describe this section. The glass can be part of the landscape, so why not leave it visible on your photo? Play on your photographic composition. Make the focus on the glass or on a detail placed on it (a drop of water for example). What lies behind is “fuzzy” and leave free rein to the imagination of the viewer try to guess what is on the other side. This will also give a dramatic look to your photos, as if it was trapped and could not escape the image. Misty by spraying water, naturally misty are excellent commonly used tricks. You can also arrange to have the focus on a subject, while leaving the details to appear in the glass that separates you. A window of particular texture or text on a window can be good examples.
Photography through Glass goes to a next level if textured glass with or without glass is used. Either its a colorless window (in theory it is same like the above description) or colored. Also, you can use very clean, good quality piece of textured glass in front of the lens, definitely, use a Rubber Lens Hood like material to avoid friction with the Lens. You are using the refractive property of the glass material like filter in these case.