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Using Window Light cont'd.
Most of my windowlight portraits are photographed with my Canon 85mm F1.8 lens and if there is enough ambient windowlight I will handhold the camera to get the image. If not, then I will use a sturdy tripod and a cable release to capture the image. Don't be afraid of using a higher ISO to get the image. With the new cameras on the market noise is becoming less and less of a problem with higher ISO.
You will be amazed on how little space you need to create a great windowlight portrait. Photo 04 (below) was photographed in a small area approximately 5 ft wide by 10 ft long with the window to camera left. The window was facing South, so the windowlight coming through was rather harsh to what I would normally use. An easy fix for this was to pin up a white thin bedsheet I bought for just this problem. The bedsheet softened the light but it also reduced the "amount" of light coming through the window so I had to tripod my camera as the shutter speed was to slow to handhold. My subject was about 4 ft from the 5x5 background I placed behind him and using an aperature of about 2.8 I was able to
achieve a shallow depth of field making my subject "pop" out of the frame.
With Weddings when I am at the brides home I like to use the same windowlight setup if I can to create some beautiful bridal portraits. I will normally just use the walls of the homes as the background and the furniture that is in the room as my props.
Using a tripod with a slower shutterspeed can pull in any background ambient light and sometimes this can add a nice warm tone to the images. Windowlight is very simple to use, just bring your
subject beside the window, turn 45 degrees into the window or away from the window and bring a large reflector to fill in any shadows and add some light into the side of the face opposite the window.
So what can you photograph with using just one window? Anything you want. I use windowlight to photograph my brides, babies, business portraits, food, products, families and on and on. Remember to always look at your surroundings on the opposite of your subject (the opposite side of the window), and make sure there is enough light for your exposure. Always look at the eyes of your subject and make sure there is a nice catchlight or reflection from the window light. I like to bring my
reflector in as close as possible without being in the frame to add that second catchlight in the bottom part of they eyes.
Remember to have a proper exposure with a correct white balance to ensure a successful portrait, and practice practice practice. I am sure you can go create a portrait right now with the windows
in your home or office. You would be amazed on what you can create with one window, a white piece of bristol board, some tooling and white sheets from a fabric store.