View Full Version : Shooting through glass (aquariums and non-aquariums)

04-20-2015, 10:48 PM
How to shoot through glass with and without flash.

for aquariums one trick is if you don't have a backdrop on the back and sides (the sides you aren't shooting through) take a dark (I prefer black) beach towel and drape the tank so that the tank light is the main light source. If no flash is used you can be shooting straight through the glass. If you are using a flash set the flash on trailing curtain flash (flash will fire at the end of the shutter operation, this will stop some motion) you can do this with the camera directly facing the glass, but any flash photography with glass works best when the camera is at a 45 degree angle to the glass as this prevents a reflection of the flash washing out the subject of the photo.

Lights on or off in the room with the aquarium depends on whether you need the extra light, or if you can use a high ISO setting to allow you to photograph in lower light.

When shooting through glass to get a subject outside you want to be at an angle to the glass to cut reflection from showing in the glass of the room you are in (unless that is a desired element of your composition).

Shooting through glass with long lens no flash camera lens perpendicular to the window which has a low-e coating which cuts the light to the camera:
this Goldfinch was shot through the kitchen window
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb277/lizardman_u/Wildlife/Goldfinch_zpsc95f495e.jpg (http://s211.photobucket.com/user/lizardman_u/media/Wildlife/Goldfinch_zpsc95f495e.jpg.html)
as was this hummingbird
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb277/lizardman_u/Wildlife/RedHotHummingbird_zps64073593.jpg (http://s211.photobucket.com/user/lizardman_u/media/Wildlife/RedHotHummingbird_zps64073593.jpg.html)

Tank draped with black towel using twin tube T5 fixture centered on the tank no flash from camera
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb277/lizardman_u/aquarium/BlueGhostAngel_zpse61e2124.jpg (http://s211.photobucket.com/user/lizardman_u/media/aquarium/BlueGhostAngel_zpse61e2124.jpg.html)

using tank light, dining room light (where the tank is located) and ambient light from the dining room window (4x6 foot window) and no flash
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb277/lizardman_u/aquarium/Discus_zps3ce1cf0d.jpg (http://s211.photobucket.com/user/lizardman_u/media/aquarium/Discus_zps3ce1cf0d.jpg.html)

Using flash at 45 degree angle to tank you can see reflection of the flash off the tank
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb277/lizardman_u/aquarium/75gallon_zpsab7bf95b.jpg (http://s211.photobucket.com/user/lizardman_u/media/aquarium/75gallon_zpsab7bf95b.jpg.html)

Tank light, ambient room light and flash in trailing curtain mode (you can see some reflection from the glass) close to the glass with a Macro lens
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb277/lizardman_u/aquarium/CardinalShrimp-1.jpg (http://s211.photobucket.com/user/lizardman_u/media/aquarium/CardinalShrimp-1.jpg.html)

You will have to experiment with what works best for you, and what works best with your gear.

All of these shots hand held, and yes I do own a tripod, but the distance between me and the tank prevented its use.