Window – lit flowers

You can get stunning results from the simplest lighting set - ups, so take control of window light to capture fabulous florals.

The soft, flat light produced when the sky is overcast and cloudy may be frustrating when shooting outdoors, but its perfect for lighting shots at home. The trick to using window light is to control where this light falls and, just as importantly, where it doesnt. Here, well show you how to take control of natural light using reflectors, diffusers and shade. These skills will stand you in good stead whatever lighting you use —even a full studio flash set - up is based on the same principles.

THE RULES

Think about where your main light is coming from. Obviously you cant move the window, so youll need to move your subject to control tliis. With the window directly in front of the subject youll get flat, even light, but you can run into problems when shadows from you or your camera fall on the subject. A better option is to position your subject so that the window is just to one side of it.

This set - up will create a soft side light, which is perfect for enhancing texture and form. Side lighting is also ideal when using light modifiers such as reflectors and diffusers. Reflectors are usually positioned on the opposite side to the light source to help lighten shadows and reduce contrast. Diffusers have a similar effect, but are placed between the light and the subject.

Reflectors and diffusers are used to reduce contrast, but a black reflector can increase it. Although it doesnt strictly reflect light, this is the easiest way to describe it, as the positioning and basic use is similar to that of white or silver reflectors. Positioning a black board opposite your light source will help to darken shadows by reducing the light reflected into them.

So find yourself a suitable window and a simple subject, and experiment with different light modifiers to see how each affects your shots.

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