One readily available natural light source irrespective of any other climatic factors and the one which doesn’t cost the photographer any extra bucks would definitely be the Window Lighting. Window lighting has always played a major role in the movies some few decades ago. In Fine art Portraits window light plays a major role in those sensational indoor photographs. We the Photographers should take inspiration from the artists whose splendid paintings were those of models lit by the window light.
Hence in this article we bring you the Merits of Window lighting, the camera settings you would have to adjust and then some theory behind placing your subject accordingly, for the desired result.
Nature of Light
So basically window light is the soft light, which comes in through your windows when the sky is slightly on the overcast side. Usually artists don’t prefer to use the direct sunlight through window; it would be harsh and will produce sharp shadows which may not be pleasant for portraits. The Diffused light usually produces less contrast compared to the normal light, here the shadows are gentle and the acquired result is very much close to what we see with our naked eye. Also using backlight in a window light should create wonderful effects to your portrait. And as always one can adjust the curtains if you think the exposure is maximum and place a reflector at the back if you think the subject is dark.
Making yourself ready to shoot with window lighting can be challenging in terms of various elements. First the exposure techniques have to be thoroughly understood which can later be overcome with the shutter speed.
Taking into account on Ansel Adams Zone system one can experiment with various shades of black with varied exposure or shutter speed. Second make sure you don’t pump up the ISO beyond limits, for this you can always increase the aperture or use a tripod. Thirdly ask any Professional, focusing in lowlight with larger aperture would be a nightmare, here I would ask you to practice more and manual focus on the highlights of the subject say catchlights on eye for better results.
Placing your Subject
Believe me, placing your subject or model is absolute fun in Window Lighting. Since we already spoke about backlight, try placing your subject by 45° and the reflector if needed at the same level from the camera, to avoid those contrast shadows. One Basic thing about this lighting is the lightsource remains fixed and the subject has to be rotated to achieve desired effect which is always perfect since there are no adjustments needed for lightsource like in studio setup.
Considering, these keypoints on Window lighting must have made you familiar to this lighting, try to light a still life object using window light. Have fun and keep Clicking!!