Tips and tricks – sunglasses as photographic gadget

Naturally sun glasses are meant to protect the eyes from very intensive light.

But they can be used as photographic gadget as well and even create real interesting effects.

Over here I’d like to show you how this works.

Because the purpose of sunglasses is to protect the eyes from intensive light, these glasses are all darkened and meanwhile they are even darkened in different colo(u)r shades.

For our eyes sun glasses are similar like e.g. an UV-filter or grey filter for a camera.

So why not place sunglasses in front of the lens, especially when you either don’t use any filters for your camera at all or have forgotten to take them with you and you have at least sunglasses placed properly on your nose ?

Okay, let’s look at these photos here, having been shot on purpose to demonstrate such a situation:


Now this first photo is the original situation.

It’s noon and very intensive sunlight, very bright light and hard light as well. Usually a situation at the location when and where one shouldn’t take a photo –for sure not having a photo subject like this one. But in travel photography e.g. one often doesn’t have the time to wait for other light conditions, because one has to move on and so on.

Well, in a situation like this it’s at least possible to adjust the camera to other settings or to use photo filters like e.g. a grey filter in order to darken the light conditions and get more saturation in the colo(u)rs.

Now here is the same situation with the same conditions but one difference: sunglasses having been placed in front of the lens.


As can be seen clearly this is really a difference.

Sunglasses can function as sort of a photo filter, at least in case of need/emergency.

Nevertheless basic conditions to do so are that you have sunglasses of a good or high quality and that the sunglass has a proper size to cover the whole front of your lens.

Further on and most important is that you place the sunglass correctly.

This isn’t easy at all. As can be seen in the photo example the sunglass wasn’t really placed as good as possible – there are some colo(u)r shades within the sky and sort of a round bluish line like a rainbow.

On the other hand these colo(u)r shades as well as the bluish “rainbow” create some interesting additional effects . It’s just up to you and your own opinion whether you like it or dislike it, whether you like a unique blue sky or a blue sky with colo(u)r shades.

Finally just as a comparison the same photo subject – taken with a real photo filter, in this case a grey filter:


As can be seen here, even a high quality sunglass can’t really replace a real photo filter.

But in case of need/emergency sunglasses are at least better than nothing and they even create additional/interesting effects. The bluish “rainbow” over here e.g. can’t be created as such by a real photo filter.

Using sunglasses as photographic gadget can not only be helpful in case of need/emergency but also turn out to be very creative and experimental.

There’ll be an article about such experimental photography with sunglasses upcoming soon over here.

Thus stay tuned and see you back again soon.

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