Eliminating Reflections

I was invited to a dinner at a restaraunt called 360, for those of you unfamiliar with Sydney, that is the revolving restaraunt at the top of Sydney Tower. It stands 309 metres (1014ft) high above the Sydney CBD making for a ‘birds eye view’ of the city. Being the keen photographer that I am I took my DSLR to dinner… you never know, if conversation gets boring I can excuse myself and indulge in some image creation…

I did get the opportunity to grab some pics, and the first issue I faced was reflections, I thought if I get my lens really close to the glass, I would eliminate it… no such luck, what was worse, was these windows are double glazed, and the reflection from the outer pane of glass is destroying my image! I really didn’t get anything I was happy with.

I was planing a trip to the Gold Coast, and whilst the Sydney Tower is tall, the Q1 tower on the Gold Coast is taller! I wanted to get a shot from the top of Q1 and I knew they would probably have similar construction so I decided to start working out how to eliminate the reflections. Below I share with you how I shoot through glass.

The Gold Coast comes to life at night…

Gold Coast

To avoid reflections when shooting through double glazed glass you need three items


Rubber Lens Hood

1. A rubber Lens Hood. They come in all shapes and sizes, and I found with my wide angle lens it was visible in the corners so make sure you get a hood that will suit your lens. There are UWA rubber lens hoods. The hood allows you to press/rest your lens up against the glass to eliminate any reflections on the inner glass panel, you will still have reflections on the second ‘double’ panel of glass in the case of double glazing that a lot of these towers have unless you use item number two!

Dark Cloth

2. A dark Cloth. To get rid of the reflections on the outer pane of glass, you need to hang a dark cloth on the window, and then shoot through it. Use a 30cm x 30cm cloth, cut an X in the middle of it big enough for your lens to fit through, I suggest make it a snug fit, so it wont slip over your lens hood, this way it all stays together nicely during your shoot.

Suction Cups with Hooks

3. Suction cups (unless you are an octopus then you won’t need the suction cups). The final piece of the puzzle, use the suction cups to mount your dark cloth to the glass.

Basically, you are creating a dark room for the end of your lens, I also cleaned the glass where I was shooting to get rid of the fingerprints left by previous admirers. So there you have it… a nice cheap and effective solution to shooting through glass.

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