How To “Create” Window Light
Last year I had a shoot where I made this wooden table for food photography. This year the client contacted me again for another shoot. While on our way to the initial brief meeting I was thinking what I can do for this shoot to make it special. Then it hit me, I would light this shoot with a beautiful window light. Sadly, my concept has some trouble as I did not have a well lit window facing where I needed at the time of the shoot. OK, why don’t I “Create” a window, full with window light. Not shoot near a window or shoot using a light from a window, but actually create my won window where I would have total control. a window with light. In this article I’ll show you how I Created my own window (and window light).
- Drill or hammer
- Screws or nails
- Paint or Vinyl sticker
I only had one night to build it because the shoot was the next day so I did the best that I can do for that night.
1. The first thing I did was cut a 4 by 8 plywood in threes to get it to fit inside my car. I cut the length into two 3 by 4 pieces, and one 2 by 4 piece (all in feet). I used the two 3 by 4 pieces as the main window walls. I opted to use 2 small pieces and not just one big 6 feet piece because I would have a hard time transporting the wall to the location of the shoot.
2. The next step was measuring the “hole” and the frames of the window.
3. I first tried cutting the plywood manually but it was taking too long and it was getting darker so I used a jigsaw instead. (I didn’t want to use the jigsaw in the first place because the blade was crooked but I had no choice :)
I used the extra piece of 2×4 plywood to make the frames of the window and the cross.
Here is rough sketch of how I cut my wood and the placement of the frames.
4. After cutting the hole and making the frames I put them together using nails.
5. The shoot was the next day so I didn’t use paint for the finish of the window and wall because of the smell it would make. Instead, I used some left over white vinyl sticker to color the wall.
6. My main plan was using acrylic sheet which I use for a scrim, but the size was too small so I used parchment paper for the window.
7. To combine the two pieces of wood together I got some left over plywood and just screwed the two pieces in place. This is not very reusable, but the cost was very low anyways.
8. I placed two 9 feet lightstands on the sides of the wall and used clamps to mount the window in place.
The final Setup looked like this.
You can play with it, here I was using the reflection of the window
And using the wooden table:
Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!