Nothing’s more annoying than shooting zoo photography and taking what you think is a great shot of an animal at your local zoo or wildlife park, only to find that protective glass or a windscreen was too highly reflective and ruined your photo.
Here we’ll show you a really simple method of photographing animals through glass so that you get clear, crisp results every time. You’ll learn how to use a polarising filter and some simple Photoshop editing techniques to get killer results.
Fit a polariser
Fit a polarising filter to your lens to reduce reflection, and rotate the filter to adjust the strength of the effect. The filter will reduce the amount of light reaching your sensor, so increase your ISO if necessary to enable fast enough shutter speeds for sharp shots. Position your lens square on to the glass when composing your shots to further reduce reflections.
When you’re using a polariser and taking pictures through glass, you may need to adjust the white balance of your images. Shoot Raw images (as always!) so that you can easily adjust the white balance post-shoot in Adobe Camera Raw. We cooled our shot by setting the Temperature slider to 4250, and added magenta by dragging the Tint slider to +30.
Boost the contrast
Although using a polarising filter will help to boost the contrast of a scene, you can further enhance the contrast for a really dramatic image. In Adobe Camera Raw we increased the Exposure value to brighten up our shot, then dragged Blacks up to 15 to darken the shadows, and increased Contrast to +50 to boost the overall contrast and bring out the detail in the lion’s fur.