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Old Jul 22, 2006, 8:45 PM   #1
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[align=center]So today we went to the zoo. I took over 300 photos which is normal for me anytime I go there, lol. Anyways, I tried taking photos in the penguin house, reptile house and the sealions, etc, all which are behind glass and I'm not very happy with any of my results. I tried the auto mode and too much flash, turned the flash off and it was too dark. Tried another setting and it was way too blurry. If I try lightening the dark photos, they are way too pixelated. Arg! Very frustrating! [/align]
[align=center]So what can I do to get decent shots behind glass? They don't need to be top notch, just good enough to where, if someone is looking at them, they don't wonder what in the world I took a photo of! LOL [/align]
Niki [/align]
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Old Jul 23, 2006, 3:54 AM   #2
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I'm new to this, so i don't know myself, but i think i would try taking photos without the flash and use manual focus to try and get the pictures sharp. I would then use Photoshop Elements 4 to brighten up the photos for me. Try just hitting the auto smart fix button.

I took some shots of my wifes flowers at night and got better results without the flash using Elements 4 than i did with the flash.
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Old Jul 23, 2006, 9:27 AM   #3
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If your only problem is the flash coming back at you off the glass you should avoid shooting head on into the glass. Shoot at a angle so the flash bounces off the glass at the same angle but away from you and still lights the area beyond the glass.

I have done this often at aquariums prior to going digital and the results look like I was under water with a housing for my camera.

I am surprised your auto focus is not giving you a problem the glass surface.


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Old Jul 23, 2006, 12:26 PM   #4
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You should try to be as closer as possible to the glass, and don't use your flash...

If you need more light, use higher ISO, or smaller apperture..f2.8 f3.2!!

Yes the manual focus can help but if you are close to the glass the auto focus should focus well:-)

Here is a picture I took a long time ago with my Kodak DX6490 through a glass !!

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Old Jul 23, 2006, 1:19 PM   #5
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Using no flash is best, but if you need the light, try to angle your camera so theflash reflects away from your camera. I have had some success by holding the lens touching the glass, and wrapping my free hand around the lens to keep flash and reflections from hitting the glass in front of it.

Even without flash you will get reflections. Try a polarizing filter. There are two kinds: Linear and Circular. Linears seem more effective, but are harder to find, possibly because they interfere with AE or AF systems on newer cameras. I don't know your camera, but a camera store may be able to find a thread-in or slip-on filter for you.

Put the filter on your camera and rotate the filter until reflections are minimized. Often works like magic. Also removes reflections from water surfaces so you can see fish better. Try it to make clouds stand out in landscape scenes. Very dependent oncamera angle vs. sun position; often very dramatic deepening of the blue sky.

Fortunately my P880 has a 52mm thread on its lens, and I found that Buy.com had a really cheap price on "Sunpak CF-7078 TW 52mm Ultra-Violet and Circular Polarized Filter Twin Pack " of $12.99 for BOTH. Less than $20 with shipping (I have no connection with Buy.com; just a customer).Keep the UV filter on the lens as a protector, and it will also help reduce the blue cast in distant scenes outdoors. If you stack two or more filters over your lens, you may get "vignetting" (darkness around the edge of the image) at wide-angle settings.

Good luck!

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Old Jul 24, 2006, 10:42 PM   #6
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Thinking about your question, I took a couple of shots through my kitchen window using my circular polarizer (previous note).

I happened to have the polarizer on my P880 because it has a small filter factor, and I thought it safer to keep it on than take a chance of losing it. So it was simple to shoot our bird feeder with the polarizer at a random setting (top), and rotated to the position of minimum reflection (bottom).

The blotch at the left of the top photo is my left hand supporting the camera. The photos were combined, then I did a level adjust on both together. Otherwise no alteration.

I guess I will continue my bird photography using the polarizer.

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