How to quickly eliminate glare and reflections from glasses with Photoshop

Jul 13, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

How to quickly eliminate glare and reflections from glasses with Photoshop

Jul 13, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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There are times in a photographer’s life when reflections in glasses is just a fact of life.  Most of the time we can eliminate them in-camera, especially with a posed session. Occasionally, that’s not possible. Perhaps when in very confined space with a huge softbox.

There are techniques to help get rid of it in post, though. Although it does require some pre-thought during shooting and taking an extra shot. This video from photographer Bill Larkin, shows his quick method for removing glare and reflections from glasses in Photoshop.

YouTube video

It’s a decent technique, if Photoshop is your thing, but there are some issues. Depending on the strength of your subject’s glasses, distortions will disappear. This might be desirable, but they can often make the subjects no longer look like themselves. People are used to seeing them with their glasses, and all the inherent distortion of the lenses.

Show it to a random person, and they’ll likely never even notice. But they often will, as will their friends and family that see them every day. The total lack of distortion and reflection can also make it look like they’re wearing frames with no lenses in them at all, too. So, I’d probably extend this tip to play with the warp transform tool. Use it to bring back some of that distortion that they and their friends are used to.

Of course, it is better to just not have reflections in the shot in the first place. And for a posed session, it’s almost always fairly straightforward to solve the problem. We’ve covered this in a previous post, and if you do solve it in camera, it’s a lot less hassle than taking multiple shots and blending in post.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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7 responses to “How to quickly eliminate glare and reflections from glasses with Photoshop”

  1. Erin Flynn Colson Avatar
    Erin Flynn Colson

    In camera

  2. Tyler Ingram Avatar
    Tyler Ingram

    I’d do it in camera too

  3. Jeff Wild Avatar
    Jeff Wild

    Broad light never fails. In camera.

  4. Roberto Miranda Avatar
    Roberto Miranda

    asi pueden borrarle hasta la cabeza

  5. Aaron Hoffman Avatar
    Aaron Hoffman

    SPRAY ‘EM WITH DEODORANT

  6. North Polar Avatar
    North Polar

    Why not just tilt the glasses forward a bit? Moves the reflection off camera and only takes 30 seconds?

  7. Delene Lisa Harvey Avatar
    Delene Lisa Harvey

    great tip thanks, how do you do it in camera?