Taking a photo through glass - no problem

Torbay Weekly

Going to the Zoo this half-term?

Here’s how to shoot through the glass: From the Secret Diary of a Seasoned Snapper by Al Macphee - themodestphotographer.com

When on a family trip to the Zoo last year, one of the grandkids decided to have a go at taking a photograph of this snake in a glass-fronted cage. Of course, you could see reflections in the image, so I showed her how to avoid that outcome.

That inspired me to write a blog post on how to photograph through glass and mesh.

How to Shoot Through Glass

Ideally, you’ve got clean glass! But what does a toddler do when he goes up to glass? Holds his hands up, leans on the glass and cries, "Ooh, a tiger!"

So, first you want to clean that glass. For three years, I worked at the Zoo a lot, and standard equipment was a good, clean cloth to wipe away any fingerprints.

If you stand away from the glass, nine times out of ten you will catch reflections. A collapsible lens hood is really useful because it seals the area around your lens from light, while saving your lens from being damaged by touching the glass.

Wear dark clothing to hide any reflections and look out for people walking behind you wearing bright clothing or holding a carrier bag.

If your subject is very close to the glass, you are likely to see fine glass scratches in your resulting images, even if you don’t see them with the naked eye. You could then be spending a lot of time on Photoshop. Use a longer lens, and get the animal when it’s further away. That will solve this problem.

Finally, use manual focus to ensure you are capturing the subject rather than any imperfections on the glass, etc.

Visit www.themodestphotographer.com to find out how to shoot through wire mesh, plus more practical tips and tricks.