Friday, August 29, 2014

Windows of the Photography

Now this may sounds like we are talking about some operating system of a computer .... right !

Well not exactly .... i am here referring all those windows which we have in our home in every room, door ways & hall from which sunlight or any other kind of source of light get enter and we can use this light to capture stunning images/portraits.

So why windows? Why not door? ... why not any other structure available in home from which light can be passes ? ..... Well answer is .... we can use almost any structure inside out home from which light can be passes and get modified in flattering way ....

When i started photography i use to capture images of my kids at home .... At that time i didn't have any flash or any other light source. So i practiced a lot at home over my kids using window light as its almost available instantly with any effort and kids are familiar with it.

Later i found out that many great photographers also using the same "Window" Technique to get the flattering effect of light and get very stunning portraits. That's one of the another reason why windows light is used to so much for "Black and White" images because of its flattering and "Wrap around" kind of effect. I will show some examples shortly below what i mean by "wrap around" effect.

So how u starts using window light? .... you might be thinking you go near to the window and just start taking images !!!!! ..... well yes exactly thats how you kick off :) .... You take the model .... place it at the side of the window and start taking images.

Note that there are different types of light coming from window .... for example ..

1- Hard Direct Sunlight which comes straight into the room through windows which we often blocked using window curtain. Not a pleasing light at the first place. Most probably you need to diffuse it before you use. So how we can diffuse it? .... Simple .... Used any plain shower curtain and put it over the window to diffuse the light .... Or .... Use any white bedsheet to put it over the window and get diffuse light ..... or just simply pull off the window curtain to block/diffuse it (note that the diffusion of such light will heavily be depending on the type of your window curtain). The more layers of shower curtain/bedsheet you going to use .... the more light going to diffuse and get flattering effect. But yes, it does requires some extra effort before you use it.

2- Side Sunlight which usually harsh and direct during noon time but when sun goes to set it becomes softer due to sun position. So the best time to use such light is either 10 o'clock when Sun is not much high ..... or 4 o'clock when sun is going to set. You cannot use such light in the middle of the day. Well yes you can but you need to work on the window light to diffuse it as per above point.

3- Bounce Sunlight which usually get inside from window by getting bounce from any near by structure or building. Such light is already diffused and flattered and can be used directly.

Fortunately i am getting Type-3 light from above list at my home .... My bedroom windows is facing another big apartment building. So logically sunlight suppose to be block. But the direction of Sunset was at the "BACK" of my apartment so light fall straight at the building which is in front of my apartment .... gets  modified/flattered/diffused and then get inside my bedroom through the windows glass and curtain which further double diffuse the light to give me perfect soft, wrapping light. Below are the few examples which i shot at home.

So as you can see .... all images above images are taken using light coming from window .... nothing more.

So how harsh direct Sunlight is going to be? .... Take a look below for sample image. The harsh light is always edgy and not pleasing unless you not use it directly or digitally modified. Another point one need to learn that ... the far model is from the window ... the more harsh light is going to be ..... the more close you are from the window .... the more soft kind of effect you will get from the same harsh direct sunlight. Check below first 3 images where the models are far from the window so for them light was harsh ... direct and very edgy .... where as in the 04th image, the same direct sunlight was producing kind a soft wrapping light kind a effect even model is right next to the window wearing sun-glasses to avoid direct light.

In below image, the mode is close to the window thats why you can see soft wrapping of light kind a effect unlike above 3 images. All this happening due to "Inverse Square Law". 

In below image, i have deliberately positioned the model in a specific way so her face down get blown out due to harsh sun light .... I used direct sunlight as a source to illuminate model side way only ....

(This image is taken using Nokia 808 Pure View)

I have been told by one great photographer that .... the bigger the "Aperture" or opening of the window .... the more flattering and diffuse image is going to be. So i thought to give my self a try .... Below are the sample images. The first two images are taken inside the parking lot which got massive opening outside towards the sun.

The below image is result of big glass wall where the intensity of light is controlled by "Curtains" of the window which act exactly like "Aperture" of the camera. You can change the intensity of the light by opening or closing the curtains of the window.

Oh ..... i almost forget about the doors. What happens if we use door as an example. Lets take a look.

So above images clearly shows one thing .... the bigger the the door .. the more "wrap around" of light you will have.

Even you can use window light to capture Professional Portrait for Linkedin .....

To sum things up in the end .... i would like to stress on one thing .... As you can see ... almost all of the images you have seen so far in this blog are B&W images .... why is that ? .... reason is simple ... i have found window light the best source to get the flattering effect which i always need for B&W images .... such light gives me soft wrapping effect as i explained above by keeping the model close to the window and at the same time i can use high contrast in post processing to get the punchy feeling which is the core beauty of B&W images.

So if you have prime lens (say 35mm or 50mm f/1.8 lens) .... and a window at your home (for sure you will have it) ..... you can take unlimited stunning images inside your home at any point of time when sun is up in the sky. No need to go outside. There are many many world famous photographers out there who are using only and only window as a light source to take their model images.

So enjoy more B&W images which i capture using Window Light ..... or in short .... WINDOWS OF PHOTOGRAPHY and see their different effects as per SUN position ..... :)

Happy Learning Guys !!!

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