I love it when the warm light of the setting sun fills up the room. It looks nice in photos, and it’s good to know that you can recreate it at any time of day. In this video from Adorama TV, photographer David Bergman will show you how to mimic the warm sunlight using only a single speedlight.
To imitate the sunlight, you need to recreate the quality, direction, and color of the setting sun.
As for the quality, the light of the setting sun is harsh and casts strong shadows. To recreate this, David puts the speedlight further away from the model.
To recreate the direction of the setting sun, the speedlight should be neither too high nor too low. Try mimicking the position of the light as if the sun was just about to set behind the horizon.
The last issue is the color. David uses a full CTO gel over his speedlight. The exact amount of CTO you’ll use depends on your preferences and how warm you want the final photo to be. In David’s final image, the light seems a bit too orange for me, so I’d tone it down. Another way to make the photo look warmer is to change the white balance in the camera by dialing in a higher Kelvin temperature.
The final touch David adds to the image is a couple of items in front of the speedlight. They cast a shadow so it looks like the light is coming through a window. Here’s the final result:
To sum up, you can recreate the warm sunlight by mimicking the quality, direction and the color of the sunlight. It might take some experimenting before you get the color just right, but I think it’s worth the shot.