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Tinted Windows - What Effect On Photographing?  
User currently offlineSonic99 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6131 times:

I suppose the topic says it all: What are the effects of shooting through tinted glass - such as in a terminal building. Would pictures tend to be over/underexposed? Is there any way to correct this in terms of camera settings? And lastly, what would the differences be when shooting during the day as opposed to night?



8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineYKA From Netherlands, joined Sep 2001, 766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6089 times:

Use the exposure meter to determine the correct exposure, however the sunlit areas of the shot will reflect the colour of the tinted glass.

User currently offlineTonimr From Spain, joined Jan 2001, 325 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6071 times:

Hi Stephan:

Depending on the colour and darkness of the glass you'll have more or less difficulties to shot through tinted ones.

This glass will retain part of the external light (That's what they have put them there!) so your pictures will tend to be underexposed. This will not be much trouble in good external light conditions and if you have a good light meter in your camera it will compensate it.

If you are using Autofocus you may experience problems in certain cameras, not only for doing it through glass, but also for the tint that will affect the built in telemeter.

In my opinion the worst trouble will be how the tint will modify the colour of the picture. The grey ones are almost neutral but those with brown tints are really annoying.

These were is taken through a moderately grey tinted glass.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Toni Marimon

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Toni Marimon

You'll also have to be very careful with the reflections that come from the inside of the building. A rubber lens hood will help a lot to remove them.

Good luck, Toni.

There is a very fine line between 'hobby' and 'mental illness'.
User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3561 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6045 times:

I don't know if you have made phot's through glass before, if you haven't you must remember the reflection of the windows. I was at Brussels (Zaventem) a few weeks ago and that was my first time of having to shoot through windows. At over half the pictures you could see a faint reflection of the resaurant I was in! Not nice at all!

User currently offlineMirage From Portugal, joined exactly 17 years ago today! , 3125 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6043 times:

Stephan, this photo was through a brownish window. As you can see, if you have good light, it's not a big deal.


User currently offlineAndyEastMids From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 1107 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6038 times:

What ever you DO NOT wear a white shirt as it will cause loads of reflections - wear a dark shirt if you can. Be very careful of reflections as these will spoil the images. There may be a colour cast on the pictures if the windows are tinted - the human eye tends to compensate for tints and you may not notice a tint that will be picked up by the film, but there's nothing much you can do about this. It is possible to take the colour cast out using tools such as photoshop, once you've got the results on a computer.


User currently offlineDa fwog From United Kingdom, joined Aug 1999, 867 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6029 times:

It's difficult to tell how you will get on in a particular place without trying it. Ideally, you want the terminal building you are in to have no bright lights behind you (retail stores and bars/cafes are a real pain, because they always have illuminated signs or neon), and if the building itself has concealed lighting then you're probably on to a winner. The ones that are really awful are where you have either those wretched little halogen lights, or else big flourescent strips everywhere.

In fact, any tint is usually the least of your problems. Fingermarks and reflections are much more trouble. The biggest reasons a tint will cause you trouble are: 1. more likely to reflect the contents of the terminal into your field of view, and 2. will reduce the amount of light coming in, thus forcing you to use a slower shutter speed or wider aperture. However, it can be done, with a little patience - any coloured tint from the glass can often be corrected afterwards.

Examples: LGA (US Airways terminal):

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Chris Sheldon

London Stansted (satellite #2):

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Chris Sheldon


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Chris Sheldon

User currently offlineSonic99 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6012 times:

Thanks everyone for your replies - very much appreciated!

I suppose that having a longer rubber lens hood would help as well - that way I could put the lens right up on the glass, even at an angle, without catching any additional protruding light from other sources. I've never made photos through glass before I certainly would like to try and see what the results are like. Now I'll just have to check out the airport (YUL) and see if its possible to photograph anything worthwhile at the terminal building.


User currently offlineSafetyDude From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3795 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6001 times:

I shot about 10 pics from the LGA terminal in March. They came out great. Then agin it always depends on the spot. Some are clean (like my case) and some are just to sad to talk about, like the time I tried to take a photo of my Virgin Atlantic 747 that I flew on. Man was that a bad photo. Can you fix it? To be honest I use the Elph2 and I don't have much to brag about...

"She Flew For What We Stand For"
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