Shooting cityscape photos from inside a building poses a different set of challenges that you won’t experience shooting outdoor.
Bring Mini Tripod
Some places don’t allow tripods because they’re seen as hindrance for other visitors. In that case, you may try to bring in a mini tripod like Gorillapod , as it’s unlikely to disturb other non-photographers visitors. Even if tripods are allowed, you may as well bring a mini tripod just in case, as it comes in handy when there is no suitable space to set a regular tripod up.
Wipe Glass Window with Cloth
Glass windows of an observation deck aren’t always clean. Make sure to keep a cloth in your camera bag so that you can wipe if it’s dirty. Obviously, you can’t wipe the other side of the window, though, so choose an area that has no stain, etc.
This reflection-free photo was shot through a glass window of Fukuoka Tower (Japan) by following the tips described in this post.
How to Eliminate Reflections off Glass Window
This is THE biggest challenge when taking photos through glass windows. A glass window works like a mirror and it’s hard to completely prevent reflections from showing up. Typical tips to follow are shooting from as close and straight as possible to the window (i.e. leaving little gap between the window and the lens so as not to let indoor lights creep in) and using a polarizing filter which helps cut down reflections.
Aside from these tips, I’d often shoot by wrapping a black neck gaiter around the lens, and more recently, I’m using a tool called Lenskirt . It might catch the unwanted attention of other visitors due to its odd look but works quite well. The concept here is all same. Wrap the black neck gaiter around (or attach Lenskirt to) your lens and push onto the window to shade the front element of the lens so that it leaves no chance for any stray light to get in.
Lenskirt in use at 100th floor observation deck of Shanghai World Financial Center. By attaching it to the lens and pushing suction cups onto the window, it shades the front element of the lens and keeps reflections off the glass window.
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