View Full Version : How can I reduce glare/reflections in artificial light?

23rd of October 2004 (Sat), 20:20
Take a look at these pics of a friend's car. Yes, the location is awesome, but artificial lighting is a big problem for me sometimes.

I'm using a Digital Rebel with standard 18-55mm lens and UV Haze Filter.




In the last photo, the problem is reflections, not glare. Is there a way I can correct this? Will a polarizer do the trick? Maybe a lens hood? Any advice is appreciated.

Also, do the pictures seem "grainy" to anyone? I was using ISO-200, which isn't high at all. Could this be because of dust on the Sensor? In around a year of having the camera, I have yet to clean the Sensor. Would doing so improve image quality?

23rd of October 2004 (Sat), 21:05
It seems the third photo has lots of reflections, but the first and second photos show flare as the biggest problem. Shooting almost directly into the main light will do that. You might try removing the UV haze filter.

If you can move slightly off-axis from the lights, then a good lens hood might help with flare. Flare tends to be the shape of your lens diaphram.

---Bob Gross---

24th of October 2004 (Sun), 06:57
If you plan to do a lot of shooting under these type of conditions (hot lights), you'll need to work hard to get good results:

1. As mentioned, good lens hoods may help reduce flare. More expensive, high quality lenses have better internal coatings, special glass and optical designs that reduce flare. But, circles and spots on images resulting from flare sometimes look good - emphasizing the intense quality of the light. At the same time, whenever you see flare, you know that the overall image quality is being degraded by loss of contrast. Your shots, however, have good contrast.

2. If you're shooting directly into lights, you'll have a very hard time getting the exposure right. The lights (artificial or the sun itself) will always be overexposed (burned out; i.e. R/G/B = 255/255/255). Getting the image details properly exposed requires trial and error. In your shots, you've actually done an excellent job - the car and other objects have a good range of useable tonal values.

3. Color correction/white balance is always a problem under these lighting conditions. Your images all have a magenta caste. If you like this appearance - fine. If not, learn how to correct for it.

4. Specular highlights (reflections) can both add to or detract from an image. To soften or eliminate them, I use the Dust and Scratches Photoshop filter - usually on a layer in conjunction with a layer mask or with the History Brush tool. With the proper technique, you can selectively mute the highlights to any degree while preserving details in other image areas.

5. The images have very manageable noise levels and don't really require further noise reduction (for the displayed image size). You wouldn't be able to see sensor dust on these types of shots. (Shoot a clear blue sky instead).

I think #2 is your best shot. Keep experimenting with those off-beat angles! It takes a good eye and lots of practice to get pleasing results.

27th of October 2004 (Wed), 11:44
Good advice! Or you could just fix it in post processing. Example:

If you don't have PS or Elements, try GIMP.org for a free excellent software pgm to "fix" your pics. It has lots of .doc, tutorials, & forum help, too.