How to create fake window light for still life and food photography

May 11, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

How to create fake window light for still life and food photography

May 11, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Studio lighting gives you almost endless possibilities. You can even recreate natural, window light with a pretty simple setup. Joanie Simon of The Bite Shot shares with you how to create a studio lighting setup that mimics window lighting, and it’s perfect for still life and food photography.

YouTube video

For this lighting setup, you’ll need the light (obviously), and a window-shaped cucoloris or “cookie.” Joanie used this one, but you can DIY it if you don’t feel like buying it. As for the light, you should use unmodified light to create the illusion of harsh sun lighting the scene through the window.

Speaking of the illusion, there are a few more things to consider if you want to make it convincing. Think about the position of the window relative to your scene and the light. Also set up the angle of the light to look as if the sunlight is entering through a real window. Think about how a real window is set up in a real room and how the sun behaves when creating your scene. And don’t forget – if you have a window, it’s on a wall. So, create fake walls too using some black foam core.

Joanie hung her window-shaped cookie and the foam core on a C-stand. She placed the light behind this to light her scene. Of course, you can choose whichever method is the most convenient for you to hang your cookie and the foam core. And now comes some experimenting.

Since this setup requires some moving and adjusting the light to get it right, Joanie prefers using continuous lighting. This gives you a real-time preview of how the light and shadows change as you change the angle of light. It makes your whole process faster since you don’t have to adjust the light, fire a shot, see if it works, adjust it again… you get the gist.

Make sure to watch Joanie’s full video as she guides you through the full process – from choosing the subject to creating the light and shooting it. You won’t only learn about a lovely, yet simple light setup, but you’ll also pick up a few other tips about still life and food photography.

[Using FAKE WINDOWS for Still Life Photography | The Bite Shot]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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