I bet you thought I’d talk about lenses. Well, actually we're going to discuss shooting through glass. I’m sure you’ve noticed by followed me is that I spend quite a bit of time shooting at our city local Zoo. The Milwaukee County Zoo, was built in the late 50's, and has been enhanced throughout the years. Its goal was for people to see the animals in more realistic settings without bars or fences blocking the view. Some of these enhanced viewing areas included extra strength transparent viewing areas in the building and some outdoor areas like the Big Cats. This was state of the art at the time, and did achieve its goals of great viewing. That said for us as photographers it does give us a set of problems to overcome. These include distorted glass, dirty from the animals or weather, glare from backdrops behind you reflected, and lastly your basically shooting through what would be considered another filter on your lens.
Well, how do you deal with these conditions and still get great images? Glad you asked that. If you shooting outside, watch the sun's angle as to where you're currently shooting, you might have to revisit that location later in the day depending on conditions. Don't wear bright clothing, or you're going to see allot of reflections of yourself in the image. You might want to wear a hat. Not only is it an impromptu shade for your lens, you will find it great for blocking some light sources inside as well. Plus if your going through a bird free-flight building it might save you a mess in your hair :) Polarizing filters are also a must. Try some test shots on various areas of the enclosure to see how they look, so to set yourself up for success when you got a chance at that once in a life time shot.
Solutions equipment wise I would suggest for shooting in these conditions would include: Fast glass lenses, and cameras that allow for high ISO settings. I know what your thinking, high ISO! you ‘ll have lots of noise in the image. Well, here’s the thing, if its a choice of getting the shot or not! I will always choose to get the shot and live with a little noise. Plus you know who tends to see the noise allot is your fellow photographers, not the person interested in your image.
I shoot with Nikon, is that the only way to go? Of course not. As I started with Nikon lenses many years ago, and as we as photographers spend allot of money in that category, is what I stayed with. So any quality camera systems from Canon, Fuji, Sony, etc will do the job very well. Camera bodies, are somewhat like computers, new features to hopefully enhance your photography are going to be released like higher ISO, faster shutter speed, weight, etc. I shoot with three main camera bodies. The Nikon D4, D750, and Nikon 1 V3. These three cover all my needs, plus they can all shoot video as well.
Next time we’ll go over image editing software, why I use it, and quick and easy edits.
Till next time Happy Clicking.