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Thread: Taking pictures with highly reflective bodies(eg. water bodies)

  1. #1

    Default Taking pictures with highly reflective bodies(eg. water bodies)

    hi to all,

    i noticed this happening a few times before:

    When i shoot subjects who are in the sea under bright sunlight, i noticed that the images are less contrasty, and sometimes, sharpness is severely affected. I have yet to go and dig up the exif data of those pictures to see if i was in the wrong focusing mode(possibly servo focusing) which may explain the loss of sharpness, but other than that, i would like to know:

    --> in such instances whereby light is reflected off water bodies into the lens with the subject in the water body, the image quality will be affected by that reflection of light rite?

    I would also like to know what is the technicality of that happening, if anyone could share, and other than using a polarizer, is there anyway to reduce it from happening...?

    (eg. lens with nano coating to reduce internal reflection in the lens etc...)

    Many thanks!! =)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Taking pictures with highly reflective bodies(eg. water bodies)

    Light reflecting off the surface of the water is one factor, and the other is water clarity.

    If you shine a very powerful spot light into an aquarium or tank with supposedly very clean water in a dimmed or dark room, you'll be surprised to see a gazillion particles floating around. Imagine an outdoor pool, or body of water with natural biodiversity occurring. If you scoop up some water, put it into a clean jar and put that against sun-light, you will know what I'm talking about. Besides, if it's SG waters you're referring to, it's really gunky.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Taking pictures with highly reflective bodies(eg. water bodies)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Merchant View Post
    Light reflecting off the surface of the water is one factor, and the other is water clarity.

    If you shine a very powerful spot light into an aquarium or tank with supposedly very clean water in a dimmed or dark room, you'll be surprised to see a gazillion particles floating around. Imagine an outdoor pool, or body of water with natural biodiversity occurring. If you scoop up some water, put it into a clean jar and put that against sun-light, you will know what I'm talking about. Besides, if it's SG waters you're referring to, it's really gunky.
    hmm, how does the dirty water affect the image? oh i meant that my subject is on the water, not in the water..sorry. (for eg. somebody kayating...or wake boarding)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Taking pictures with highly reflective bodies(eg. water bodies)

    Ok, this is the Physics explanation: When light moves from one medium to another, (in this case air to water) some of the light is reflected and some is refracted. The refracted light passes into the water and carries on (so not affecting your out of water shot). Particles in the water increase the reflective density of the liquid, and mean less light is refracted and so the un-refracted light is instead reflected. To further complicate matters, the light that is refracted (or enters the water) strikes the particles/sedimant and some of that light is then reflected back towards the surface where the process of what happens when it enters the water is repeated meaning more light changing angles on the surface of the water as some of it is now refracted back into the air.

    In easy terms: sediment in the water acts as a barrier that means too much light gets trapped on the waters surface which in turn creates a highly reflective surface.

    The only thing I can suggest is use a higher stopped filter and PP for brightness and contrast.
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  5. #5
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking pictures with highly reflective bodies(eg. water bodies)

    Quote Originally Posted by tanjonhan View Post
    hmm, how does the dirty water affect the image? oh i meant that my subject is on the water, not in the water..sorry. (for eg. somebody kayating...or wake boarding)
    if you would read camera manual carefully, it did mention that auto focus will not preform well when backgound is brighter the the subject itself.
    and I believe you also have underexposed images due to back lite subject, hence, you think the image is less contrasty.

    the CPL filter will not help in such case, nano coating lens will not help in such case.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Taking pictures with highly reflective bodies(eg. water bodies)

    hmm, i did account for that and set +1ev...

    so AF not good is cause the reflected light affected the focusing...hmmmMmmmm..i can take that...so by rite if the subject is still, should be able to get sharp images....okie...will go and try...

    How about contrast wise...? with high amounts of light going into the lens, any possibility this is the case..?

  7. #7
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking pictures with highly reflective bodies(eg. water bodies)

    Quote Originally Posted by tanjonhan View Post
    hmm, i did account for that and set +1ev...

    so AF not good is cause the reflected light affected the focusing...hmmmMmmmm..i can take that...so by rite if the subject is still, should be able to get sharp images....okie...will go and try...

    How about contrast wise...? with high amounts of light going into the lens, any possibility this is the case..?
    not very specify of what you trying to let us know, now I suspect is lens flair, can you post a photo to show?
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