Lighting for people with glasses can be pretty tricky, whether you’re shooting video or photos. At Wistia, we’ll usually raise our two key lights up as high as possible and angle them slightly away from the camera to minimize glare. Check out the silent video example below to see the difference it can make! A lot of times this will fix the glare problem, but it can also cause other issues. Watch out for harsh shadows on the talent.
Another tactic is to increase the size of the light source hitting the talent. The larger the light source, the less glare you will have on the glasses.
We compiled a list of tips and tricks from our community members to help you out next time you find yourself in a scary (glary) situation.
The discussion all started with Chris Pollack, asking a question that many of us can relate to:
“Hey there Wistia community… In shooting my video yesterday, I found that I was fighting a lot of glare in glasses. Are there certain tactics for dealing with this?”
“If I see glare on glasses, I usually ask my talent to slightly raise the back part of the glasses frame that goes behind the ears. That slight change of angle on the glasses usually doesn’t look weird and removes the glare for me, but I use soft Kino Flos with my lighting.” – @dcrowephoto
“Polarizing filters can go a long way. These puppies can remove reflected light, but they also limit the amount of total light hitting your camera, so you’ll have to account for that. Indirect lighting can also help.”
“A lot of times, cheaper glasses manufactures will not use actual polarized lenses, but rather an ‘antireflective coating’ on the lenses, which reflects back a ridiculous green (terrible for keying out a green screen).
The bigger the light source the better—it’ll wrap around thick glasses. So if you’re using the Wistia DIY-style lights, you’re going to have some harsh shadows around the glasses vs. if you were using a bigger soft box.” – @ryanwhitehq
If you’re having trouble getting rid of that last bit of glare, don’t have the talent take off their glasses, just roll with it. As we see it, the main goal of business video is to convey a clear message in an authentic way. In most cases, your audience will forgive (or not even notice) those little details.
And an article by Justin Tierney about how to remove reflections numerous ways: https://petapixel.com/2016/06/01/shoot-glass-leave-unwanted-reflections/
Do you have your own techniques for getting rid of pesky glare on glasses? Share ’em in the comments!