How To “Create” Window Light

Oct 4, 2015

Laya Gerlock

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!

How To “Create” Window Light

Oct 4, 2015

Laya Gerlock

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!

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Window Light Feature Image Compressed

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).

Materials:

  • Plywood
  • Saw
  • Drill or hammer
  • Screws or nails
  • Paint or Vinyl sticker

How To:

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.

Window light Setup (6)

2.  The next step was measuring the “hole” and the frames of the window.

Window light Setup (7)

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 :)

Window light Setup (8) Window light Setup (9)

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.

Window light Setup (13)

4. After cutting the hole and making the frames I put them together using nails.

Window light Setup (11)

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.

Window light Setup (12) Window light Setup (1)

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.Window light Setup (4)

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.

Window light Setup (3)

Window light Setup (5)

8. I placed two 9 feet lightstands on the sides of the wall and used clamps to mount the window in place.

Window light Setup (2)

The final Setup looked like this.

Window light sample (1)

Window light sample (6)
Thats to my Brader, Jayjay De Guzman for assisting. Also the GF that is not in the shot

Samples Photos:

Window light sample (2)

Window light sample (3)

You can play with it, here I was using the reflection of the window

I also tried using the reflection of the window

And using the wooden table:

Window light sample (4)

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Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock

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!

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8 responses to “How To “Create” Window Light”

  1. Vladimir Khudyakov Avatar
    Vladimir Khudyakov

    Fantastic!

  2. Frank Nazario Avatar
    Frank Nazario

    what a cool, simple and clean idea … thanks.

    1. LSG Avatar
      LSG

      thank you also :)

  3. e.j. fuhr Avatar
    e.j. fuhr

    a great idea with limited materials and time!

  4. ext237 Avatar
    ext237

    Killer shot, using it with the reflection. Nicely done.

    1. LSG Avatar
      LSG

      cheers :) sharing is caring ;)

  5. Stereo Reverb Avatar
    Stereo Reverb

    Great idea!

  6. Scott Murphy Avatar
    Scott Murphy

    I did a similar thing, only I used a real window mounted on a 2×4 frame and a sheet of dry wall.