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A window light studio

For some time, I am using this super simple but effective setup for indoor portraits with window lighting. All that is needed — apart from a model and a camera — is a window and a big piece of black cloth. From time to time, I turn any room in our house into a “window light studio” using these items. I simply drape the cloth over a door to serve as a background. The cloth I use is a piece of black fleece, which is great because of its matte, non-reflective, surface. It is also easy to turn fully black during post-processing. To vary the angle of light from the window, I simply move the door and the model. The whole setup looks something like this:

My super portable “window light studio” setup.

Below are some sample photos that were shot using this setup. It works best on an overcast day, when the light is soft and even. I avoid direct sunlight because it’s too harsh for my taste. The window makes the light nicely directional and gives an interesting look with nice soft shadows and highlights. While the quality of the lighting leaves not much to be desired, I keep on experimenting with the angle at which it falls on the subject, with my standpoint as a photographer, and with different times of the day. For the time being, I can’t get enough of it.

Some window light portraits. All shot with the Sony A7III and Voigtländer Nokton 40mm F1.2 Aspherical.

2 Kommentare

27. Nov. 2021

I like this idea, do you use a white cloth on the window as well in order to get a smooth light? Or a window facing north? Nice pictures, and thanks for the tips

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28. Nov. 2021
Antwort an

Thanks for the comment! No, I do not use a white cloth in front of the window, although that would certainly help to smooth the light. Indeed, I usually take these photographs with indirect daylight, preferably on overcast days, when the light is already quite diffuse.

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