Natural lighting offers a lot of opportunities to make great photographs. Just like dawn and dusk are the best times to shoot outdoors, natural light pouring and streaming through the window make up for the best source of light indoors; anytime of the day. The quality of the window light is simply superb and adds a lot of mood to the indoor shots. Not only the still-life, but it benefits the portrait shots as well. You can easily count on the window light to re-create the magical portraits. It is one of the most attractive lighting for communicating the emotions & expressions you want to convey through photography. Here’s the quick checklist of add-ons window light offers for an outstanding portrait photo-shoot.
Soft, Diffused Light
One of the characters of the window light is that it is soft and diffused — which makes it the best type of light for portrait shots. Well, not always. The light pouring in from windows facing north or south direction is bound to be soft, while you can diffuse the direct sunlight by pulling the blinds or drawing the curtains. This soft light evenly illuminates the subject and clubbed with selective focus, window light makes up for the flattering images.
Direct Light For High Contrast Portraits
While soft diffused light give a natural feel to the portraits, the harsh light helps in bringing out the skin textures, especially helpful when photographing the elderly people. Along with this, direct light is also good for casting the shadows of the surrounding elements like the window grill, blinds & folds or even the curtains. The warmth of the sunlight along with the shadows create aesthetically pleasing and interesting images.
Take a look at Matt Andrews’s wedding collection for this one. It has some of the most beautiful bridal and couple shots, shot against the window light. The smooth, silky white gown of the bride pleasantly mellows in the burst of window light and the visual treat of the washed out backlight is quite pretty, far beyond imagination.
Awesome Silhouettes & Profile Shots
After experimenting with the frontal lighting, take a break and try out the backlight magic for creating captivating silhouettes. Shoot against the light for creative profile shots — no details, just the outline and intriguing shapes. Play smart at it — pull the curtains down to add the glowing effect or shoot at twilight to compliment the subject with exploding colors of the blue hour.
Beautiful Complimentary Bokehs For Dreamy Effect
With window lighting, backlight is at its best. Not only can you silhouette the subject, it can be used for filling the frame with mindblowing bokehs. But this works best during the dawn, when the sun sets and the artificial lights take over the charge to beautifully light up the world around us. The incandescent lights in the backdrop are perfect for revitalizing the scene with bokehlism. Want to learn how to create the bokeh effect. Check out the tips for creating bokeh effect here.
Jazz Up Portraits With Artistic Lens Flare
I bet you can get your creative most with this natural source of light. Apart from photographing beautiful bokehs and amazing profile shots, the next great idea lined up for an awesome portrait shot is the lens flare. Backlit the subject while shooting straight into the sunlight pouring through the window. The resulting circular discs and washed out look will create a feeling of romanticism and mystery.
Natural Light Merged With Studio Set-up
Sometimes shooting just the natural light can be a tedious task. For instance on the sunny days when the sun is at the mast and the entire room is filled with harsh light, having the reflector or strobe lights handy pays you off. However, it doesn’t require expensive lighting set-up. You can employ the thermocol sheet or a cardboard covered with silver foil to act as the reflector and use the secondary light or flash to act as the fill light and thus overpower the natural light entering the room.
Appropriate Set-up For Catchlights
Shooting through large windows create a suitable atmosphere for photographing the gleaming reflections of natural light in the eyes of the subject. This is what makes the portrait shots all the more livelier and expressive. The catchlights are at its best when the subject is facing the sunlight pouring through the window.
Shooting Through The Window Glass
Including the window glass with perhaps the raindrops or lots of scattered lights help in creating a hazy look. The lights reflecting off the window glass creatively blur the subject, giving it a dramatic appeal worth experimenting with.
Add An Element Of Interest: The Window Itself
While you are at it, i.e., adding the visual appeal and burst of soft light incoming through the window, don’t forget to experiment with the windows as props. Windows can introduce the second element of interest in the photograph. The beautiful scene in the backdrop compliments the subject well. You can also utilize the window frames to tell the visual story through natural framing. This simply helps in adding context to the photographic story.
How about employing this natural source of light?