Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shooting Into Glass

I found this older image in my files recently and thought it would be a good topic of discussion. I can't tell you how many times clients ask me if we can use the view out the window in a photograph. They are not my favorite sort of image to shoot for some of the most obvious reasons, reflections.

If reflections aren't enough of a problem, try shooting 8 individuals in a setting like this. With two walls of glass reflecting the opposite walls in the room, your in a world of hurt. The only solution to this particular problem is to shoot two exposures, one of the view and the other of the group. And that is exactly what I did here.

Using a tripod is imperative in getting this shot, you need both exposures to be in perfect registration. I first made my exposure of the group and then the outside view. Which one you shoot first is up to you, just know that when you set your position for your first shot, you don't change it for the second.

Here is the lighting set up I used for the group exposure. Hey, want a second, are those Dyna-lites I see? Yes they are, I was not fully into my speedlight mode at that time and I felt I needed more power than what speedlight would provide.... In hindsight, I could have used speedlights for this. Anyway, you can see one head bounced into the ceiling for fill and one head bounced into the wall at the left of the group.


Shooting groups are hard enough as it is, throw in some glass and a small space, it's never any fun. With a room this size, bounce was really the only method of lighting I could come up with that would provide even light for a group this size. I personally like directional light rather than just putting a large umbrella on a boom overhead. By bouncing light off the wall, I have a sense of direction and the bounce of the ceiling provide the fill I needed.

5 comments:

KE Photo said...

good looking shot David! I know for me...I love the challenge of a difficult shot...it's what makes this more fun and more exciting.

Claude Angers said...

David, did you put a CTO gel on the wall bounced flash?

Freelance fotograaf Jürgen Doom said...

David, I understand that you merged the shots in Photoshop afterwards, 'cause I don't think you can achieve this with a double exposure, can you?
Nonetheless, it's a great tip. I never ever thought of this solution.
Greetings from Belgium,
Jürgen

bmillios said...

Thank you! I needed to do something like this 2 weeks ago - I convinced the client that a different setup would be a better shot.

And it was. Because I would have botched up the reflections. Note to self: even if you don't think you need it, always bring the tripod.

BRIANOGRAPHY - Brian Morgan Photography said...

Very nice! It is funny how they all seem to want that shot showing the skyline in the back. Just curious, if you don't mind sharing, what do you charge for a scenario like this one where you have onsite and post-production work (maybe for use on a corporate website)?