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slickShooter Dec 8, 2003 7:40 PM

Shooting thru glass
Curious to know the best way for shooting a pic thru a window.
I have an Oly C-750 and a Tamron circular polarized filter.
I was at a reptile zoo which was dimly lit. Shooting into the tanks with the flash mostly got bad results.I did not have the room for a tripod.Please advise as I'd love to go back and get some great pics to share with you all.I'm posting the better ones as i write this.

djb Dec 8, 2003 8:18 PM

i think the best way to shoot thru glass is to clean the glass and put your camera against the glass and shoot that way. also, if you
use a flash you won't get any reflections that way. if you are not able to get up to the glass, a polarizer may help and if you use flash you need to use an external flash off at an angle to minimize reflections. that's about all i can think of.


Dec 8, 2003 10:09 PM

I agree
Shooting thru glass with a Flash is a losing game.

slickShooter Dec 11, 2003 7:39 PM

Caution "gory" pic
This picture is not for the faint of heart but it shows a decent pic can be taken thru glass.....dirty glass at that.Admittedly I took about 6 shots to get this one and its still not perfect but oh well

Mike Haywood Dec 11, 2003 11:41 PM

Hi Slickshooter: This is not a joke but it may be worth a laugh or two to some members. I had tried taking photos through glass (mainly at airports) at various times in the past and ended up using the business end of a black toilet plunger (new), cut out to allow lens to stick through. Wide end of plunger sets against the window and you can still move camera to optimize shot. It works great other than the curious looks from folks who have an adversion to toilet plungers. There might also be a rubber lens hood available from somewhere that protrudes enough to go against glass and still allow pivoting of the camera. Be sure to clean the greasy nose prints from the glass first. All things considered, you made the effort to get to the location where you want to shoot the photo. After cleaning the glass and applying the plunger methnd my photos will still be with me and the looks from strangers will have blurred. Good luck, Mike

luisr Dec 12, 2003 8:53 AM

Re: Caution "gory" pic

Originally Posted by slickShooter
This picture is not for the faint of heart

I took a similar shot of a lion just as close to this one through a one-inch think glass :lol: It wasn't a digital camera (this was at a time you had to pay thousands for a 3 MP camera) but the technique is the same. I just sat in the floor with the camera very close to the glass and didn't use flash. Granted, the camera had fixed focus and there was enough light but the result was as if there was no glass at all and as striking as yours. Only that the lion was just lying there peacefully.

gibsonpd3620 Dec 12, 2003 9:05 AM

I have found that a useful tool is a monopod. They take up less room than a tripod and will allow you place the camera very close to the glass. I have the Vanguard MP15. The monopod allows me use long exposure times without the flash and the blur.

slipe Dec 12, 2003 9:11 AM

Polarizers arenít much help taking most pictures through glass. Reflections have to be from a low angle to be polarized so the filter can remove them, and you rarely take a photo through glass at that much of an angle with the glass. All you are doing is cutting your light 3X.

You can evaluate the reflections and take the shot from the spot with the least bad reflections if you canít get your lens right on the glass. And you can take flash pictures through glass with a built-in flash if you stand at an angle to the glass.

luisr Dec 12, 2003 9:16 AM


Originally Posted by slipe
And you can take flash pictures through glass with a built-in flash if you stand at an angle to the glass.

As long as the glass is very clean.

calr Dec 12, 2003 10:37 AM

If your camera lens is right up against the glass, a little bit of dirt or streaks on the glass will not show. DO NOT try to use flash!

I once shot a picture of a sunrise through an extremely dirty office window and the shot was outstanding. I had my lens directly against the glass and the dirt didn't show. The focal length of the lens prevents it from "seeing" details right in front of its "nose".

The thing you need to watch out for is that the front element of your lens (the glass) is not touching the glass you are shooting through to prevent possible scratching. You should have a UV filter on the lens anyway to protect against scratching. A scratched UV filter is a lot cheaper to replace than a lens.

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