Sometimes when we are shooting portraits, we run into more unique
challenges. One of these challenges that you may have run into is
taking pictures of people who wear glasses. Most of the time, light
will reflect off of glasses causing a glare which can completely block
your view of the eyes in the image. Several times, I've been taking
pictures around Roanoke and run into the problem of light reflecting
off of glasses. In this blog post, I'll talk about a few ways I've
learned how to combat the glare on glasses.
Adjust the Angle
Probably the most useful of these tips is to adjust the angles to get
rid of glares. This could be adjusting the lighting if you have
control over the light or changing the angle of your subject or
camera. Sometimes, even just tilting your subjects face in a slightly
different direction can completely eliminate the glare. Glares are a
result of light hitting the glass at a certain angle so an obvious fix
would be to adjust the angle. You want your light source to be angled
slightly above eye level of your subject so the light isn’t reflecting
off the glasses. If the light points down on the glasses or it is
level with your subject’s face, then you will most likely have a bad
light reflection. Start your photo shoots by looking for the angles of
light and figuring out what you can adjust. If you can’t adjust the
light, focus on how you can angle your subject and the positions of
Shooting catchlights involves directing light into your subject’s
face. Catchlights are a beautiful way to add interest to a portrait,
but can be the worst thing for glasses wearers. The approach to
lighting has to be different because your have to prioritize clarity
of the glasses. For instance, when shooting with window light,
instead of turning your subject to face the light turn them away from
the window to avoid glare.
Shade the Subject's Face
If you are having a particularly hard time with the glare on glasses,
try using something to shade your subject's face. Eliminating the
harsh light from around someone's face also eliminates glasses glare.
This shade could come from overhead shade such as an umbrella or even
a hat. As long as these are not casting harsh shadows on your subject,
this can be a great way to quickly eliminate glare.
If your light source is coming from behind your subject, it will not
usually be able to cause a glare. Creative backlighting can make for
some fun unique portraits.
Edit the Images
While I definitely prefer to fix the problem of glare on glasses
before shooting the pictures, sometimes you will still end up with
some glare. In this case, you may need to open up Photoshop and
retouch the images. This is fairly easy as long as the glare isn’t
obscuring the eyes. If there is glare covering the eyes, you will
have a much harder time trying to clean up the glasses glare. For
quick fixes, you can use the clone tool or the spot retouching tools
to clear away sections of the glare. Remember to keep this editing
subtle and tasteful.
Shooting pictures of people with glasses can be daunting and test your
skills as a photographer, but with a few simple tricks, you can easily
photograph these types of portraits. I hope this post helps you to
prepare for these photo shoots and beat the glasses glare!