5 Super Easy Ways To Get the Most From Your Room Light

If you´re not one of those few fortunate people who has its own photo studio or if you don´t have access to some for rent for a low price you probably need to solve the same question as I do: "How to get interesting light with available light sources?" The question becomes even harder during the cold autumn and winter months because it´s not so easy to take your models outside and let them suffer in cold :)

Over the years of doing photography I´ve discovered different light settings which you can get in your room for free or very low price. In this article I´d like to share them with you.

I´d love to hear what kind of light settings you use while shooting in interior!

Main Light Source
The best light source which is available in almost any room is natural light coming from the window. In this article I´ll show you different varation of how to work with this type of work.

1. Window as Only Light Source
You can use the "window" light as only one light source in your photography. The light scheme will look like on the picture below.

Advantage of this kind of lighting is that it creates quite dramatic transition between lights and shadows. To show you the example of this kind of settings take a look at the picture below.

Sharpness of the transition between lights and shadows depends on the outside light conditions. If it´s very sunny day the transition is sharper, if it´s cloudy transition is softer.

2. Window and Reflector
Do you remember the article "DIY: Silver Photo Reflector For Only $6"? Well, now I´m gonna show you the practical use of the reflector. It´s a great thing if you want to reflect some light into shadows to make them lighter. Below you can see possible light scheme with the reflector and light from a window.

On the following picture you can see this light settings in practice. The left bottom part of the face is lighter because of the reflector which creates interesting, bit more sofisticated effect.

According to me this type of lighting looks more professional than the previous one. It needs a little practice to learn using of reflector but let me say that it really pays off!

3. Backlight
You can use "window light" as a backlight. Thanks to it you get clean white backdrop. Usually if you use this type of light settings and expose correctly on model´s fase the window will be overexposed and because of that it will be white. And as a bonus you gain beautiful light in model´s hair.
There is the light diagram for this type of light settings.

If you use this type of lighting you need to be carefull with the exposition because usually the camera tends to underexpose the image if you shoot on Auto. To get the correct exposition use some manual settings.

On the picture below you can see example of this light settings.

4. Backlight and Flash
This is more advanced variant of the previous type. You can use it if you want to have harder light and thanks to it more details in the portrait. On the following picture you can see the light settings.

It may be necessary to use manual setting on your camera to get the correct exposure as in the previous step.

Let´s take a look at the example of this light settings. If you look closer you may notice small details on the skin. You wouldn´t get this amount of details with the previous settings.

5. Reflector and Backlight
The last light setting  I´d like to mention in this article is the variation of previous two. It uses the reflector instead the camera strobe. It creates softer light but gives more details to the picture than using backligt only.

For this kind of light settings I don´t use the home made reflector to reflect light back to the face but big mirror on the door of the closet. The advantage of the mirror is that if I shoot selfportraits I don´t need to hold it.

Let´s take a look at the light diagram.

The photo bellow was took with this light settings.

I hope that this article has helped you to discover different ways of lighting your photos and has showed you that you don´t need extensive studio lights to get interesting portraits.

Do you have any other light settings you use? Will you use those mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to hear your opinion!

Have a great Monday and even better week!
- Jarka