Create Your Own Window Light for Photography

Some photographers are absolute lovers of natural light. But natural light is constantly changing. Professionals require consistent results. However, Daniel Norton from Adorama shares a hack to fake natural light for when you need to shoot indoors:

Shooting with window light can get you gorgeous results. But timing can be a great challenge as the sun moves. To fake the sunlight, Norton places a Profoto B1X just outside the window. You can also use a simple speedlight with a receiver for this purpose. And to make it look more realistic, you can simply angle the light at an angle similar to the angle of the sun.

Before moving on with the demonstration, Norton takes a photo by metering the ambient light. Here is how the image comes out without flash:

portrait with window light

The model is evenly lit and the windows seem to be blown out a little. But the image lacks punch. So, to add a little bit to the image, Norton turns the flash on:

artificial window light with flash

The model is now well-lit and the lighting isn’t so flat as it was in the first case. The windows are also bright now while the details are well maintained. If you want the image to be brighter or darker, you can adjust the shutter speed.

The main benefit of using a flash to mimic sunlight is that you can have full control over lighting. You can get consistent lighting even if the weather gets terrible or even at night. Another beauty of using this technique is that others won’t be able to tell what kind of lighting you used because you really are using “window light.”

So for your next shoot, instead of waiting for the perfect natural lighting, use this simple technique to make your own window light.

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