How to avoid glare in eyeglasses and make photograph effective with techniques
Basic Photography
Pixean
September 4, 2018

Photographing people with glasses has been a challenge for us since a long time. Whenever we try to shoot them, we end up with glares due to the reflection off the glasses. This in turn hides their eyes and produces some odd colour and flares. This blog is dedicated to all those people who have faced this problem quite a few times while shooting portraits of friends and family members. The problem is that you cannot ask them to take it off. At least, not always. In case you are shooting children, you should never ask them to take those off since it may be a matter of self-esteem and they may feel that they are actually lacking something in life. Let us look at the different techniques to photograph people with glasses while avoiding glares and try to understand the use of ring lights for the same.

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1)  Look through the viewfinder; observe:

Observation is the key to solve this problem. Understand the concept of the creation of glares. When the light from your light source hits the glasses, some amount of light reflects back off them and into your camera. Since this is nothing but simple reflection, a slight change in the angle of the camera can actually help you to negate that. The major challenge here is us, ourselves! When you are looking through the viewfinder, don’t pay all your attention to the exposure meter only. Check whether the reflection is prominently visible. If so, is it hiding the eyes of the model? If it is, you need to change the camera ever so slightly and it should help you to get your camera out of the line of reflection. Simple observation through the viewfinder can actually help in solving the problem. You may also ask you model to turn their head slightly.

2) Candid side profiles:

If you are shooting side profiles, there won’t be any problem of glares. If your subject is not looking straight at the camera the line of reflection is not there anymore. If you are looking to shoot story telling images, the model is going to have their face away from the camera, more often than not.

3) Changing the head position:

If you have ever gone to a studio, you must have been advised by the photographer to slightly tilt the head and push forward the face. When a person faces the camera head on, the chances of view able reflections go up. Hence there is this need to tilt the face slightly. Although this might not work in case of official photographs but normal portraits can be rectified with this. A slight tilt of the head will change the angle of reflection and eliminate glares. The problem with this is that sometimes the frame of the glass can cut through the eyes but it is still way better than having glares disturbing the image. Pay attention to the frame of the glass and try to make sure that it doesn’t block the eyes entirely.

4) Shading accessories:

Glares can be caused by any light source present around the subject. The best way to eliminate glares is to stop the extra sources of ambient light from hitting the glasses at different angles. This is similar to the process of eliminating lens flares from images by using the lens hood to protect the lens from unwanted light rays. Make sure the model is wearing some kind of a clothing or accessory. It may be anything like a cap or a hat etc.

5) Cooperation:

Cooperation is very important. Talk to the model and explain the kind of problem you are facing due to the glare coming off the glasses. Communicate with them properly and tell them that it is going to be time taking but it will be worth at the end. You need the cooperation from the model in doing this perfectly.

6) Sunglasses instead:

This may not be a proper solution though. Make your model wear sunglasses instead of normal glasses to avoid any sort of glares. This can be a workaround to the problem especially if you are shooting casual images of your friends and family members but it is certainly not a solution for professionals.

7) Use the glares to your advantage:

When you can’t solve it, embrace it! This is a very common saying in photography. Since photography is not bound by any rules whatsoever, this saying is perfectly valid and useful. If you are really having problems in eliminating, think creatively as to how you can embrace it. Soft lens glares can look quite good when used effectively. Just make sure that the glares are not covering the eyes completely. As long as they are soft, they can introduce some sort of a mood in the image!

Use of ring lights:

Ring lights are widely used in several genres of photography. They are being used by vloggers too. These are nothing but a set of bulbs in the shape of a ring. It acts as a key light or even a fill light since it emits diffused and even light. This can be very useful in portraits. Place the ring light at an angle to the face of the model. Hence the subject not only gets illuminated but the glares can also be removed since the light is at an angle. Ring lights provide a lot of flexibility. These are best used to get close up shots. In case you are planning to take head shots of your model who wears glasses, ring lights can be really effective.

Glares coming off glasses is a common problem in portrait photography. This is a seriously annoying problem and cause a lot of sleepless nights for a portrait photographer. But there are several solutions to this as well. Once you have gone through this set of guidelines, you should be able to eliminate glares consistently. Follow the steps for glare free portraits!

Basic Photography
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Pixean
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