Negating reflections on glass

FMJunkie

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Today I decided to pay for a yearly pass to go up to a viewing deck of one of the skyscrapers in my city.

It has fantastic 360 degree view overlooking the city as it's by the tallest building around. Just one problem....

The reflections from the internal lighting is ruining any chance of getting great shots. Not to mention every other nob flashing the window right when I am in the middle of a long exposure.

Does anyone know how I can deal with reflections. Is there some sort of filter or film I could temporarily attach to the glass?

I have tried to get the camera right up to the glass but this isn't easy given the window sill is small.

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Timmy

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You'll need something called a "polarizing filter" - by rotating it & altering the direction you point your camera you can cut out a lot the internal reflections.

Good brands are B+W, Marumi & Hoya. Cheap filters can make your photos worse.
 

OzRay

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I'd do some practice at home using your kitchen window or the like and try to emulate similar conditions to the tower, and see how camera angles, polarising filter, even a portable shroud would work to stop internal reflections.
 

fredlong

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Get as close to the glass as you can to minimize the reflections you're dealing with. Use a polarizer. Try to go when the nobs aren't there.

Fred
 

jamesgehrt

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Sounds difficult. A polarizer may not cut much. It only cuts out polarized light. The tungsten or fluorescent interior light may not be removed. I would try shooting at an angle to the window, either up or down or side to side. The glass will reflect the light that is falling at a specific angle. If you can get in a position so the lights so they are at a 45 degree angle to the window glass they should disappear. The only problem is, there will be many lights at many different angles. You could then try to clone out any light reflections.

I would try to get some good shots as close to what you had in mind and then print a small portfolio or website. Then type up a proposal to the management and ask for permission to shoot for a half hour before or after hours. You can offer them usage of the images in return for the permission to shoot. Never hurts to try. I have had some luck with local museums that don't allow photography.

Good luck.
 

Cruzan80

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Rubber hoods are another option, as they can "seal" against the glass, cutting out any outside interference. Doesn't help as much for multi-pane glass, but still worth a try.
 

dhazeghi

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Also shoot at the widest aperture possible to ensure that any crud on the glass is out-of-focus in your image.
 

FMJunkie

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Thanks for the tips, this has given me renewed motivation to try again.

I have a cheap cpl filter that had some marginal success during the day, but as the sun retired for the day and the awful purple neon lights became apparent combined with the throngs of people with their iPhones , and tablets that were taking pictures with flash it was a nightmare.

Thanks again guys. I will be sure to post any good shots I achieve :)

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jonlong

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Oct 25, 2013
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Avoiding crowds is a good start. Have a lens cloth with you to wipe the glass where you will shoot. Shoot as close to the glass and as perpendicular as you can to avoid distortion. Obviously don't use flash. Bring an extra layer (jacket or shirt or something, and use one hand to drape it over the front of the lens, blocking light from getting in and causing reflections. Polarizer might not be helpful if you do all this stuff.


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