This window light portrait was made during a recent workshop in the Dandenong Ranges on the outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria.
The weather was chilly and the light overcast throughout the day. This particular image was made indoors as part of a discussion on shooting with the aid of window light. Unlike the usual sunrise or sunset photograph you'll notice that, rather than photographing the light source, I am using that light source to illuminate the subject. Depending on the subject's position, relative to the light source, a range of stylistic approaches and moods can be explored. This particular image, which took no more than 30 seconds to set up and shoot, utilises frontal light where the light is projected directly onto the subject. This is the ideal direction by which the light can be utilised to reveal subject identity (age, gender, ethnicity, etc). No wonder it's used, though in a less flattering manner, in passport photography.
The interesting thing about this type of photography is that the window effectively becomes the light source. So the larger the window, the larger the light source projected through it. A fundamental law of photography is that the larger the light source, the softer or more flattering the quality of light produced by that light source. As evidenced in this image the large window produced a large light source that, in turn, created a very soft quality of light. Wow!
I processed the original RAW file in Adobe Lightroom 2 where it was rendered into its current black-and-white form. Adobe Photoshop CS3 was employed to further adjust contrast and add a sense of luminosity to the model's skin.
I want to send a special note of thanks to Deanne, for being such a great subject, and also to thank all those who attended the workshop. You all produced wonderful images that display your creativity and showcase your hard work and enthusiasm. I wish you all the best with your future photography.
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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography