7 Practical Ways To Reduce Glare In Your Photographs
Let’s face it – summer is probably the best season for photography. Sure, the fall is great for atmospheric photography, and winter can offer some gorgeous snowy shots, but summer gives a photographer everything on a platter.
There are colors, bright skies, sunny plains, and bustling streets. It feels like everything is already there for you – all you have to do is snap it, Instagram it, and then turn it into a pretty Instagram photo book!
But before you do all that, we must say that summer doesn’t exactly reach a 10/10 on the photography ratings. There is one part of this season that people don’t get on with: glare.
That’s right, you’re allowed to have a sunny shot of your friend on the beach, but only if you’re okay with that glare that’s blocking her face!
Thankfully for you, however, we’ve had plenty of time to work out a solution. Below are 7 ways we have managed to remove glare from our photographs, ensuring that your future summer photos can be perfect.
Bouncing The Light
One of the most popular ways to reduce glare is by bouncing the light off another surface, rather than using your subject to bounce it. This can be done in various ways, most commonly with a bounce card, reflector board, or even bright, white walls or clothing.
By doing this, you will create a bigger spread of light than the original source, which helps diffuse the light on the subject and reduce the chances of glare. Not only this, but bouncing light always makes photographs look softer, warmer, and more appealing to the eye.
Filtering Is Fine!
The word “filter” is quite controversial in the photography-verse, but we don’t think it should be. At the end of the day, there are pros and cons to filtering your photographs, but as long as you carry it out carefully, you will only improve upon what you’ve already got.
In most cases, abnormalities that lessen the quality of the image – such as glares – can be retouched and softened to diffuse the light source and polarize it. On a simpler level, black and white filters are good at accentuating shadows and reducing light reflections — which helps to remove unwanted glare.
A Lens Hood… For Your Phone!
Regarding professional photography, many photographers use lens hoods to keep light from falling across the lens and create flairs and an unwanted, low-contrast look.
This has been something that, until recently, had only been available to those with a DSLR camera. In 2023, however, you can actually attain a lens hood that can be attached to your smartphone, achieving the same effect on a smaller scale.
Play With Your Exposures
One of the most common reasons photographers get glare is because their exposure settings are too high, which means they have abundant light entering the camera lens.
If you lessen your exposure and choose a more narrow aperture and a faster shutter speed, you can reduce the amount of light you’re photographing. Albeit this doesn’t necessarily eliminate the glare, it can lessen it and leave you with a softer, more palatable photograph.
Play With Shadows And Don’t Stay Rooted
Outside of settings and filters, there are things that you can do in the moment to stop glare from being a problem. The most obvious? Get moving! As a photographer, you should never stay in one spot – even if you think you’ve found the perfect angle.
If you’re working out how to take sunny photographs on your smartphone, even a slight shift of the feet can change where the sun hits in conjunction with your lens and eradicate any potential glare. Shooting with the sun behind your shoulder or placing the sun directly behind your subject can also be a good choice to create a beautiful, backlit image.
Get Your Timings RIght
Another simple solution to glare is choosing the time of your photography session wisely. In the summer, specifically, taking photographs in the early morning or at sunset can result in some stunning images.
When it comes to showing off on Instagram or documenting your work with a photo book maker, it’s important to put the effort in and think about every aspect of photography. Alternatively, keep watching the skies and wait for an overcast afternoon before you start snapping – clouds are every photographer’s best friend!
Run With It!
One last way you can get rid of glare is by… not getting rid of glare! Just because there is glare in your photograph doesn’t mean that it’s not any good. Glare can add a bit of intrigue and character to a picture that would otherwise have been one note.
Some photographers even go looking for glare, hoping to utilize it to add some extra detail and atmosphere. As a photographer, avoiding a problem is not always the only answer. Instead, it can be a good idea to look at how you can work with the problem and turn it into a positive for your photography. So be creative, get experimental, and see if you can make glare your friend!