Photography is full of `scapes: landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes
are all very popular subjects. But the next time you grab your camera and head
out for a day of shooting, why not take try to capture what's on "the
other side" and shoot some windowscapes for a change? There are a couple
of different approaches to take. You can use a window as a compositional device
to frame your subject, or you can concentrate of photographing objects you find
inside or behind a window.
polarizing filter eliminated the distracting reflections in this
scene shot through a window on a bright, sunny day.
Photography by Ron Leach
When using a window as a framing device, simply move back or use a sufficiently
wide lens so that you can include the window frame and what's beyond it
in the photo. Be careful with your exposure settings when using this approach:
If you are inside looking out, your scene will usually be much brighter than
the window frame. The opposite is true if you are outside looking in. You can
expose for the exterior scene and let the window frame become a silhouette or
add supplemental light to the frame so that it better matches the brightness
of the exterior scene.
the reflections of the trees on the glass created the sought-after
effect, so no polarizer was used.
Sometimes you'll end up with a more interesting image if you just capture
what's behind the window without showing the window frame at all. Elaborate
store displays created by professional designers offer great opportunities for
capturing unique images. When shooting through glass it's important to
pay close attention to glare and reflections, and minimize these potentially
distracting elements (unless they create an effect that you find interesting).
A polarizing filter is usually all you need to eliminate glare and reflections
(or at least reduce them to an acceptable level). Sometimes it also helps to
experiment by shooting at different angles to the glass.
sidewalk-bound pigs seemed very interested in what was behind
this storefront window. Again, no polarizer was used because the
objects reflected in the glass created an interesting effect.
Lens hoods are also very helpful in dealing with glare and reflections, especially
when shooting at night. Put the lens hood right up against the window, being
careful not to scratch the glass (rubber lens hoods work best for this application).
If you must use flash to light your scene, shoot at an angle to the window,
or move the flash off-camera so that it strikes the window at a different angle
from the lens axis.