Useful Photography Tip #72: Mimic the Look of Window Light By Bouncing a Flash at a Window Shade

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer With and without flashes for a window lighting tutorial (1 of 2)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

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Everyone loves the look of window lighting. But in order to get that very soft, diffused look that we all see in some of our favorite food photos, we either need to wait for the right light or we need to crank the ISO levels up to the really high levels. That can provide a fundamental logistical problem because it requires the right scheduling. This is only true though if you don’t have a single speedlight.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer With and without flashes for a window lighting tutorial (2 of 2)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

This is the same photo that leads this blog post. However, the flash is off and the camera settings are the exact same.


Let’s take a look at the situation above: NYC is currently extremely gloomy. In order to get a photo that looks like there is glorious sunlight outside being diffused by the blinds, I’d need to crank up the ISO levels if I were just using natural/available light. By turning the flash on and aiming it at the window shade, I’m adding more light to an already large and diffused light source. By adding more light to the area, I’m giving the area enough light to make it look like there is beautiful sunlight outside.

And the result is below.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Pentax K3 first impressions product photos (1 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.5

ISO 400 1/50th f2.5


We encourage you to try this out for yourself and show us your results.

In order to get this shot, we used the Canon 5D Mk II, Sigma 35mm f1.4, Phottix Odin and Mitros+ flash. It’s crazy what a single flash can do in the right spot. The flash was given an extra boost of 1 stop in the EV compensation.

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.