Shooting through windshield (out) at

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Old July 16th, 2004, 04:37 AM   #1
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Shooting through windshield (out)


I need to shoot some video through the windshield of a moving car. The camera will be inside. This is a difficult situation: if I succeed in stabilizing the picture and keeping the windshield out of focus then there will still be lots of reflections to fight.

What would be the best method/tools to improve the image quality?

A polarizer would probably help a bit. But there are two types: ordinary circular PL and Kaeseman circular PL. What's the difference? Which one works best?

Does the windshield require exposure compensation, saturation control, white balance shift?
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Old July 16th, 2004, 05:46 AM   #2
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Hi Ralf.
Unlesss you are shooting directly into the sun you shouldn't have a problem. The other thing is to not have your camera straight-on to the glass if you can avoid it, angle it slightly.
For a rock-steady shot from within a moving vehicle try this. Mount your camera on a mono-pod and hold it down firmly onto the floor of the vehicle. It's not the movement of the vehicle that gives a shaky pic, but the camera waggling about.
I've shot from a 4 wheel drive on rough ground and it looks as though the camera is mounted on the vehicle.
David Phillips
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Old July 16th, 2004, 06:33 AM   #3
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You probably meant that I should angle it horizontally (because most windshields are at 30-45 degrees angle already) - i.e. not pointing straight forward. I'll try that.

It is not possible to completely avoid having the sun in the front: driving east in the morning and west in the evening... The time table can't be changed because this is a documentary video and I must adapt to the situations.

I'm going to shoot on Iceland. It's in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and there are two (2) distant forests in the country. The rest of the country is rather plain. So there is the ground (rock/lava, sand, grass, ash...), the sky and the sea. Lot's of sun and very bright, if the sky is clear.

I know that a mattebox + filters (UV+IR,ND,CPL) would help a lot, but I'm trying to travel light now. No mattebox, that is.

So, which type of polarizer would ge adequate for in-car use? Or do I even need a CPL filter? I haven't done much in-car videography so I do not know. And I don't have a car to test it with.
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Old July 16th, 2004, 08:28 AM   #4
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Circular polarizers are required for SLR reflex cameras mostly. A regular (linear) polarizer should do. It will remove the reflexion of the dashboard on the windshield.
As for focus, switch to manual and set it near infinity to avoid focusing on the windshield.
Norm :)
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Old July 16th, 2004, 05:56 PM   #5
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Cover the dash with a low-relective black cloth or carpet. That will kill a lot of the reflections.
Mike Rehmus
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Old July 17th, 2004, 10:08 AM   #6
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If the subject is the view outside, instead of the people in the car, then fixing the camera to the vehicle is maybe not the best option, because that would transmit all car movement to the camera, resulting in your subject bouncing about with irregularities in the road . Better to hand hold it away from your body, trying to let it float, your arm being a shock absorber.
If, however, the people (or whatever) in the car are the subject, then fixing the camera to the car is best, since movement of the subject and movement of the camera will then be the same, while the scenery outside will be unstable, which doesn't matter in that case. Firmly strapping down a tripod, works great.
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Old July 18th, 2004, 11:34 PM   #7
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Check this out. I haven't used it , but some others have and like it. Not too pricey either, and gives you a lot of options.
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