Shooting into the window

Have you ever wonder why when shooting into a window with your self as a subject does not work?  How do people get themselves in proper colour and the window like a white lit background.  

If you know me and my studio work, you will see that I love the white background at times.  I often put models or maternity sessions right in infront of my large window.  If,  properly lit is will wrap around my subject and make my subject pop and this dreamy white lit background will occur.

But how does it do that?  Today I have attached some images to help show you what you can do when shooting with your DSLR Camera while shooting in Manual Mode and in RAW format.  (not JPEG)

With the example below, I used a vase of flowers on a chair as I did not have a model in studio.  These images are straight out of camera.  I have not used any studio lighting and have not edited.  These are 100% RAW images.

Lets start by giving you an idea of where the light was coming from outside and time of day details. etc.  This is important due to the Camera setting I used.  My home faces East, in Hamilton.  I was using the East side window in my home around 2 pm.  The light source (sun) was at the side of my home and therefore, there was not a lot of light coming in the studio at that time.  I have sheers on my front window to diffuse (lessen) the amount of light coming in.  I also want to get that white light and this is my backdrop source.

My camera settings stayed the same all the way through the images, except for my shutter speed. 

Camera was set at ISO 640, Fstop 2.8.  

For the image below my shutter was at 1/125th of a second.

 You can see with this image the flowers are dark and the background is lit slightly.  If you look closely there are lines of my window.  The lines in the window are not wrong for photographing people if this is the look you are going for.  The next image below is the same camera settings, but the shutter speed was at 1/50th of a second.  Now if you have a moving subject like a child you are going to want to increase your shutter speed and let's face it, children are fast. In that case bum your ISO up to compensate.   

You can see with this image the flowers are dark and the background is lit slightly.  If you look closely there are lines of my window.  The lines in the window are not wrong for photographing people if this is the look you are going for.

The next image below is the same camera settings, but the shutter speed was at 1/50th of a second.  Now if you have a moving subject like a child you are going to want to increase your shutter speed and let's face it, children are fast. In that case bum your ISO up to compensate.

 

 So you can see that with the ISO and aperture (fstop) being the same and now having a slower shutter speed, my subject are more in there natural colour.  The overall image is brighter and more appealing.    For the last image, I added a reflector to show you what would happen if I put this in front of the subject.  What is a reflector?  It could be a large white poster board, a towel, a white sheet or you can purchase one.  It would have to be large enough to light the subject infront.   What happens is that when you put your reflector 45 degrees to your subject the light coming from behind your subject will bounce off it and now light your subject.  Brilliant right!  More light to light them up.   Another tip for the use of this reflector is that when photographing people you don't want to have what I call, Dead eyes.  Meaning no catch light in their eyes.  That sparkle you see in someone's eyes when light anywhere hits them.  The only time would not care to see the catch light is if they are not looking at you then don't bother with the reflector.  If they are looking at you I would strongly suggest that you have one.  This is however just my opinion.  I find it more appealing and real especially when close up.    So having said the above, the next image, all the settings were the same.  I only added a reflector in front.  The shutter speed was still at 1/50th of a second.     

So you can see that with the ISO and aperture (fstop) being the same and now having a slower shutter speed, my subject are more in there natural colour.  The overall image is brighter and more appealing.  

For the last image, I added a reflector to show you what would happen if I put this in front of the subject.  What is a reflector?  It could be a large white poster board, a towel, a white sheet or you can purchase one.  It would have to be large enough to light the subject infront. 

What happens is that when you put your reflector 45 degrees to your subject the light coming from behind your subject will bounce off it and now light your subject.  Brilliant right!  More light to light them up. 

Another tip for the use of this reflector is that when photographing people you don't want to have what I call, Dead eyes.  Meaning no catch light in their eyes.  That sparkle you see in someone's eyes when light anywhere hits them.  The only time would not care to see the catch light is if they are not looking at you then don't bother with the reflector.  If they are looking at you I would strongly suggest that you have one.  This is however just my opinion.  I find it more appealing and real especially when close up.  

So having said the above, the next image, all the settings were the same.  I only added a reflector in front.  The shutter speed was still at 1/50th of a second.     

 As you can see everything has really popped and is nice and light and airy.  The subject is now evenly lit and beautiful.  I hope you enjoyed this lesson today and my hope is that I can write again about a different topic.    If you have a topic that you would like to talk about and for me to write about, I would love to hear from you.  It could be anything, photography related.  It could even be questions about how to get better pictures using your point and shoot with the kids.    The idea of parts of my blog going forward is to help and educate you to be a better photographer.   You don't have to own a professional camera to ask.    If you do try these above, I would love to hear from you as well and answer any questions you may have to the best of my availability.  I can't get to everyone but I hope to try.    Also, if you know of anyone who could benefit from this read, please share away.  Looking to hear from you!  Cheers!   

As you can see everything has really popped and is nice and light and airy.  The subject is now evenly lit and beautiful.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson today and my hope is that I can write again about a different topic.  

If you have a topic that you would like to talk about and for me to write about, I would love to hear from you.  It could be anything, photography related.  It could even be questions about how to get better pictures using your point and shoot with the kids.  

The idea of parts of my blog going forward is to help and educate you to be a better photographer.   You don't have to own a professional camera to ask.  

If you do try these above, I would love to hear from you as well and answer any questions you may have to the best of my availability.  I can't get to everyone but I hope to try.  

Also, if you know of anyone who could benefit from this read, please share away.  Looking to hear from you!

Cheers!