Nikon School

Shooting with window light

By : Nikon School Blog   |  6 Mar, 2017  |  162

Light is one of the most important aspects of any photograph. Often, we find ourselves looking at impressive images and wondering how the photographer lit the scene. In many cases, we assume that the light used by the photographer is very complex and expensive. This is specially so if the image is shot by a famous photographer.

However, often, simple lighting can look very complex and attractive in an image; and no other light is so simple, yet so effective and attractive, than window light. Every living or working space has a window or a doorway. They can be of varying shapes and sizes, but they all do one thing very well – provide excellent light for portrait and still life photography.

Portrait

Placing a portrait subject next to a window or doorway can give you very pleasing results. The light is softened as it is usually reflected light. You can create side lighting, or use a reflector to brighten up the shadows on the subject and create a more even effect. You can also use a silver reflector to get a more glamorous effect.

Still life

Window light is also very good to shoot any still life subject like food, flowers, statues, etc. You can use any white surface and reflect light from the other side to create uniform lighting. Keeping a plain background helps to highlight the subject.

Diffused

Diffused light works best for portrait and still life. Window light is already diffused. Using light, white curtains can increase the diffused effect. Or, you can use a diffuser if curtains are not available.

Shadows

Deep shadows create a sense of mystery and drama. You can place the subject a little away from the window to get darker shadows. To increase the effect, use Vivid picture control from the Shooting menu and switch off Active D'lighting. If you want lighter shadows, select Neutral or Portrait picture control. Switching on Active D'lighting from the short cut menu can also lighten the shadows. However, using high or extra-high mode for dark shadows can result in unpleasant noise artifacts.

Backlight

Using window light as backlight can be very attractive for many subjects. However, you have to meter the subject's face, or the most important part to highlight, and use spot or Centre-weighted metering to get the exposure right.

Other areas where you can get naturally diffused light like window light are doorways, balconies, ventilators.

So, don't wait to buy expensive lighting equipment or hiring a studio to get pleasing images. Just use the windows of your living or working space effectively, and create lighting that will keep viewers wondering how you did it !

Comments (96)

 

Mr. PS Yadav

good description

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Mr. Ranjith V S

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Mr. P C

Thanks. This was very helpful, especially the information about active d-lighting.

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Mr. Simon Binay Purty

superb

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Mr. Nirmaan Thakkar

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Mr. Tarun Kashyap

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Mr. GP Ganesan

very well explained. short & crisp. tnx

Mr. Abhinava Pandey

informative

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well explained

Mr. Vishnu Das

Good

Mr. Sarath mohan

helpful

Mr. GOUTAM TALUKDAR

helpfu

Ms. SRABANI MUKHOPADHYAY

very useful information...... interesting also......need to study more

Mr. Ravi Raj

quite cool...useful and interesting

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Detailed blog,like the thorough description.

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Detailed blog,like the thorough description.

Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

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Mr. varun kumar

beauty

Mr. Vinay Dutt Purohit

It was great help , but still i am confused in harsh lighting , i need harsh lights and on the other hand powerful shadows , kind of cool and war tone to make image more interesting.

Mr. Simon Binay Purty

very helpful... I was planning to invest money on studio lighting equipments but after reading this blog I changed my mind and tried shooting in natural lights from Windows and doorway and the results are amazing... thanks to Nikon...

Mr. Vignesh Rashinkar

creative work. natural light looks great than artificial lights.

Mr. Sandeep Te

Very informative.

Mr. Anand Rathore

Window lighting section was worth a read for me.

Mr. Ravi Raj

the same I was looking for

Mr. Pushpendra Yadav

Creative work. Good guidance

Mr. Pushpendra Yadav

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Mr. Pushpendra Yadav

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Mr. Vivekananda Pradhan

Helpful info

Mr. Sumit Singh

Good informative blog. Nice tip regarding the use of "active d-lighting" and picture control options and use of metering.

Mr. GOUTHAM PA

helpful

Mr. Athish Sanjay Itagi

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Mr. Abhishek Golatkar

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Mrs. Kabita Pradhan

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Mr. Aditya Maity

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Ms. Naba Khan

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Mr. Dhananjay Sen

awesome ideas

Mr. Juman Jyoti Kalita

useful information

Mr. Krishna Das

I agree with the above mentioned description.i like the diffused portrait.our images gets clear clarity using diffused light to get better portrait snap.

Mr. Ashutosh Raghuwanshi

Totally agree! Natural light looks more real than artificial ones. Strobes and light boxes are good for fashion or studio photography but for candid shots, natural light is best.

Mr. Raghavendra CH

awesome click

Nice

Mr. KAUSHIK PURKAIT

nice

Mr. Tamal Roy

Thankful information

Mr. Abhishek Vashishta

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Ms. deepika kumari gupta

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Mr. Pratul Pal

I never think about the use of window light like this way.

Mr. SUMIT SAMANTA

Valuable Information

Mr. Pratul Pal

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Mr. Pratul Pal

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