How to Create Window Light in a Windowless Location

Window light is one of the most popular lighting setups for all kinds of photography and video projects today for many reasons. Mainly, it creates a positive and relaxed atmosphere, while it also illuminates the subjects with a clean and cozy high-key lighting. However, what if you want to create this effect in a location without spacious windows, like a studio? This quick video tutorial from The Slanted Lens has the answer.

Before we jump into the video, it’s also helpful to know the qualities of window light to understand what we’re trying to recreate. According to Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens, window light is desired for its soft quality that suggests a wide or open space. It’s bright, doesn’t have a lot of shadows, and produces low contrast shots — qualities that can be summed up as high key lighting. Pair this with a white or pale-colored background or set and you have a nice, fresh mood throughout your photos or video clips.

To demonstrate how he created the window light look in a windowless studio, Jay shared some behind the scenes footage for a commercial along with his tutorial. Watch the video below:

The all-white kitchen setup for the commercial is one of the most common applications of window light, as you want to create the impression of a bright and spacious workspace. To achieve this, Jay used a big 12 x 12-foot silk, shoot-through fabric with two Zoom LEDs on the right side of the frame. This brightens the entire kitchen set and create the impression of a large window nearby. Next to it is a harder light source to serve as the focus lighting of the talents. To make the lighting in the entire set more even, he also included other lighting elements for bounce, additional floor lights (Jay explains what this actually means) and fill lights.

On a final note, Jay adds that you can think of the 12 x 12-foot lighting as a big softbox, and you can accomplish the same setup on a smaller scale with a white bed sheet in front of your light source. Pretty neat tricks here, right?

We’ve got our own tutorial on Window lighting right here. But ours more or less is about augmenting current window lighting.

Screenshot image taken from the video by The Slanted Lens