How to photograph through glass

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

December 28, 2009


As the weather takes a nosedive into the depths of winter, we’re often inside more than ever. Sometimes its just too windy or cold to venture beyond the front window. These five tips will help you take great photos from the other side of the glass.

1. The 45 degrees rule. Avoid glares and your own reflecting by positioning yourself and your camera at an angle to the glass.

2. Avoid flash. Your flash will reflect off the glass, causing a glare. If you absolutely must use a flash, reduce the strength if your camera allows for that and use tip #3 as well.

3. Get close, but not too close. If you are having trouble with distance between yourself and the glass, position the camera close to the window but not actually touching. Use your hand or a scarf to shield the lens from excess light or a flash.

4. Use manual focus. Your camera might get confused if there is a surface in between yourself and the subject. If you have the ability to manually focus, you’ll likely have better luck.

5. Add a polarizing filter. If your camera lens accepts filters, polarization can eliminate most if not all reflections and glares.  This would be a wise investment if you expect to take a lot of photos through glass.

Hopefully you’ll be able to get outside this winter, but sometimes it cannot be helped. Maybe you even want to take a few images from the airplane! Use these tips to grab the best image possible in less than ideal situations.

Photo by coryschmitz

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  1. esther_a

    Great tips. But what about when you’re inside taking a pic out through glass – like in a bus or train? Any tips for that?

    • Jennifer

      These tips apply to both directions, when you’re on one side of the glass and your subject is on another.

      If you’re moving, you’ll want to use a fast shutter speed or action/sports mode on your camera.

  2. Tamara

    Do similar rule apply for when taking photos around water. It is summer here.

    • Jennifer

      Certainly, especially when it comes to odd reflections.

  3. terri gordon

    love your stuff!!!!!!



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