Window light questions...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ~Stella~, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    As I have seen suggested several times here, I have had good luck in the past with shooting babies in window light alone - specifically morning light in my case, because the afternoon sun here is pretty glaring and evening is too late and doesn't last as long.

    I had some good results shooting with a dark background while hanging some white sheets off-camera to bounce the light around and minimize shadows, but it was pretty randome and not scientific at all. I'd basically like more information on working with natural window light. And what can you use to reflect the light in someone else's home?

    Assuming this is work done in a home rather than a studio - are there any rough guidelines or is this pretty much a a trial and error thing?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    By way of illustration - these were done with the white sheet around them: with my old camera:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Contender for fattest baby EVAH:

    [​IMG]

    And these were done just with direct window light, obviously.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You certainly have the right idea.

    Ideally, you want widow light but certainly not direct sunlight coming into the window. The idea is that the window is a large light source, which makes for soft light. If the sun is shining in, then the light source isn't really large anymore...and it's usually rather intense.

    Other than that, I think you are good with what you are doing. Using a white sheet as a reflector is a good idea. You could use just about anything...maybe a foam core board or an actual photographic reflector.

    Then it's just a matter of setting your exposure and getting the shot, which you seem to be doing fairly well.

    I see that you are using flash as well on some of them...that's OK. It can be used as a nice fill light but if it's too strong, it sort of defeats the purpose of using the window.

    Also, watch how close they are to their background. The last couple have some shadows on the wall...which don't really help the image.
     
  3. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your advice.

    These are from over a year ago, so I don't really remember which had flash, but the last two are him sitting on his changing table which is next to the wall. It's the only window that gets decent evening light. I actually hadn't thought about moving it further from the wall.

    See (different kid):

    [​IMG]
     
  4. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    As in science fair board? That is in the budget.

    As far as a real reflector - abut how much do they run? Maybe I'll pack up and take the kids to the camera store this weekend.
     
  5. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    I did an "Almost Alone with David Williams" seminar. (Amazing Australian Photographer) and despite having an awesome studio, he shoots pretty much everything against a west facing window, or doorway. Also, even though he gets all sorts of endorsement gear, he uses a reflector and low light flashlights for pretty much all his lighting.
    EDITED TO CHANGE LINK; Here is the right one: http://www.davidwilliams-heartworks.com/masterwork.html It's totally inspiring.
    Hope that helps!
     

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