Whenever you use a very large light on a subject wearing eye glasses, you’re likely to run into a problem with glare on the glasses. The is simply a reflection of the light in the glasses. I do my best to mitigate this problem by moving the subject, the light, and my camera, but sometimes I’m just stuck with glare–especially if I’m photographing outside on a cloudy day, in which case the entire sky is a big source of glare. Besides moving the subject, light and camera around to different angles and positions, a polarizer may also be effective in removing the glare.
However, in the case of this photograph, I had none of those options. I made this as the last photo of the shoot, and I had already spent a lot of time on different looks, so this was simply one I suddenly imagined and made happen without time to move the lights or anything, and no time to dig out the polarizer and re-meter the scene. I just turned my subject to the light, brought him very close and shot a few frames. The light is a flash shooting into a white eight-foot umbrella, so it’s a big light. My subject has pretty good lenses that reduce the reflection, but it still obscuring his eyes a bit.
While preparing this picture for our upcoming portraiture book (I can’t wait to share it with you!) I realized that the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom have the perfect tool for reducing the impact of that glare: de-haze in the adjustment brush.
The de-haze slider is a recent addition, and it’s job is to increase contrast in a particular way so that the atmosphere looks better in pictures. Well, with it now included in the brush tools, it’s a great way to cut through the glare in glasses, too.
If one application of the brush isn’t enough, just right click on the brush button on the picture and choose Duplicate to add more oomph.
Here’re the before and afters.
Conversely, try dragging the slider to the left to increase the glare for a completely different effect.