Now and then I'll try something that I should have been doing for years and then feel dumb that I haven't been doing all along... and had an instance like that a couple of weeks ago so I thought I'd pass it along.
Like many of you, every now and then I'll have to shoot people in cars. Windshields are always a pain in the rump, and I've always just fought window reflections just with polarizers... which work to a degree, but not great.
I had to shoot a series of three commercials, all people in cars. I tried something that in hindsight is so obvious, that I've always thought "Eh, that won't work so well," or "Ehh, that won't look natural."
It's simply taking a trick from the old "Adam-12" production manual and shooting with a big black griff over the car to block the reflections....
This is such an obvious solution, but somehow in 30 years of shooting I just never tried it... it was pretty unbelievable how well it worked, and everyone looked quite natural.
It actually looked so clean that I considered putting some fake reflections back in. If the cars had been moving much I probably would have, adding some moving reflections to help sell it. In this case though they were all supposed to be parked or trapped in a creeping traffic jam, so we decided to keep it clean.
I will never shoot through a windshield with just a polarizer again, this was just too easy and worked so well.