Through the Glass
Recently I went on a photowalk on the University of Texas campus with my friend Beecher. It was early morning on a foggy, drizzly Saturday and we hoped to capture some cool shots of some structures lit up in the fog. We had imagined shots of the UT Tower or Littlefield Fountain glowing in the fog-diffused light. What we got instead was enough drizzle to prevent us from wanting our gear out in the open.
What did we do? We found other things to shoot. We stopped by the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum where there are lots of overhangs under which to avoid the rain. I captured this shot of the (beautiful) lobby through the glass.
3-exposure HDR. Center exposure: 2s, f8, ISO 100, 12mm focal length
There were two tricky things to this shot. First, the reflections on the glass completely overwhelmed parts of the image so I leaned the lens hood on the glass and blocked the reflections with my hands. As you can see, there are some leftover reflections but I find them rather appropriate as they give a sense of where the shot was taken (outside the glass). In hindsight I’m glad that I wasn’t able to avoid the reflections altogether.
The second thing I had to deal with was the cleaning staff — they kept wandering around in the lobby and occasionally showed up in the exposures. I shot and re-shot. I timed my exposures such that the shutter would open when the staff was behind a pillar. This is much like when you are attempting a portrait in public and you have to ‘click’ at just the right time to avoid people in your foreground and background…just something you deal with.
Anyone else have tricks for shooting through glass? Or, do you have opinions on how to treat a shot from the standpoint of allowing/eliminating reflections? Do you purposely include them in your shots? Do you go through lengths to avoid them?