I shot it in the old tenement house, against the light going through the window. I was able to avoid the reflections when shooting with a less of the window in the frame, but when trying to show more of the window, I was not able to avoid those blueish reflections. I also covered my hand over the lens to avoid too much light entering, but didn't help either.

I used Canon EOS 1000D + Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM with no filter at all.

Will polarizing filter or UV filter address that?

Reflections from light

  • \$\begingroup\$ What camera / lens / filter combo did you use? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 21, 2015 at 10:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DigitalLightcraft I used Canon EOS 1000D + Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM with no filter at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – dzieciou
    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you please mark or exactly describe what refelctions you mean? \$\endgroup\$
    – eogavy
    Dec 21, 2015 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @try-catch-finally Only the cyan inverted window image across the bottom four steps could reasonably be described as a reflection. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 21, 2015 at 22:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidRicherby Right. Though there is also too much light in the top on the edge between wall and window. \$\endgroup\$
    – dzieciou
    Dec 21, 2015 at 22:39

4 Answers 4


No. Adding filters will only make this worse.

The reflection in your picture is not actually in the scene, so there is nothing a filter can get rid of. The ghost image is caused by reflection between lens elements. Therefore, adding another possible surface light can bounce off of will make things worse.

You might wonder why light is bouncing between the lens elements in only this picture. Actually, it's always doing this. You don't normally see it because these reflections are highly attenuated by lens coatings. For a normal scene, the reflections are so dim compared to the direct light from the scene that you don't notice them.

In this case, the light coming from the window was so much brighter than the very dim light from the stairs, that the reflection was significant relative to the stairs. If you were to expose for the window light, then the rest of the picture would appear black, and the reflected light would be so dim as to probably not be noticeable.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Fill flash or a big reflector might reduce the exposure enough to remove both the overexposure on the window and the flare. Changing the angle might be able to shift the reflection out of shot, and you might even b able to still get a composition you like \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris H
    Dec 21, 2015 at 13:27

This effect is caused by refractions and reflections of light directly approaching the camera. Since it's happening on-axis you can't tame it using your hand as a lens hood as you've noted and anything you use will need to be between you and the light source.

While you might find that an appropriately set polariser helps I wouldn't bet my house on it. It may help you to get a more pleasing sky... if you have one it would be worth trying it (it's always worth having one in the kit bag).

A UV filter will not help you here at all, in fact an extra glass surface to bounce around in may make things worse.

My recommendation would be to shoot at a different time of day. The sun will be less direct but not enough that you'd lose the effect and if you need more light indoors to rebalance it then some carefully arranged fill-in flash should help.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for recommendation of getting some spare sky into the kit bag. ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – dzieciou
    Dec 21, 2015 at 12:35
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ the angle of incidence of the light hitting the lens (where the reflection occurs) is close to zero so almost no polarization occurs and i guess the polarizer will be of little help \$\endgroup\$
    – szulat
    Dec 21, 2015 at 14:46

A polarizing filter might reduce it slightly(!). What you have here is basically a lens flare. This is caused by inter-reflections between lens elements. Putting a filter in front of the lens won't get rid of these reflections inside the lens, but may filter some of the sky-light. The blue sky is polarized in a direction, so turning a polarizing filter the right way will darken it somewhat (ie. more than it darkens diffuse light reflected off surfaces such as walls), and together with that it will also darken the sky's unwanted reflection - the lens flare.


Some users has already anwered the question.

I'm just mentioning an alternative tip.

1) Use a tripod

2) Take your pucture in manual mode. Expose as you like.

3) Take one picture as it is now.

4) Take an aditional picture covering with your hand the window.

5) Compose the 2 halves on Postpro.

You could also try some Hdri technique.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ How HDRI technique is going to help here? \$\endgroup\$
    – dzieciou
    Dec 21, 2015 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was refering simply to compose the image. That part is deleted. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rafael
    Dec 21, 2015 at 17:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.