Tuesday's Tips: Creating Window Light

For a project in New York, I had to illustrate how a specific medical device was used in a clinical setting for a company. The people in the shoot are models selected by the client and it was photographed in an actual, working hospital. The space in the room we had to work with was tight and we could not move much around. Due to where the medical device was located in the room the photograph could only be shot from this angle.  The problem was, this left us a lot negative space above the patient.   If we only had a window with late afternoon light coming from the right side of the frame.   No problem, we will just create one.

To mimic the sunlight coming through the blinds, I set up a speedlight on a stand. The smaller light source made the edges sharper on the shadows. A cinefoil cut out of horizontal lines was placed in front of the speedlight to create the lined pattern on the wall. An orange Rosco gel on the speedlight created the warm color of the pattern.

Next to the speedlight, a Baja Dynalite 400w/s strobe was set up on a stand with a Chimera softbox to create the light on the two subjects. In a situation like this, you need to be very careful that no light from the Baja spills onto the background wall. So, black foam core was carefully placed to block and direct the light where it needed to fall.

Another Baja light was used to the left side of the subjects to highlight them. An orange Rosco gel was placed over the light to create the warm highlight and provide more dimension in the image. Cinefoil was also used to direct the light towards the nurse.

Shot with a Nikon D810, my camera was set up on an Induro tripod. All the strobes were fired by Pocket wizard TT5. To be able to see the screen of the medical device in the image, an exposure reading was taken from the screen. You should expose for the element you cannot control. The exposure was f16, 1/5 second, ISO 320.