Window Light Portrait Set-up Shot


The spread above is from my book “The Digital Photography Book, Vol 2.” It’s my opener for the chapter on shooting portraits (click on it for a larger view), and the reason I’m mentioning it is that I found the shot below, showing the set-up for that shot (taken just moments after I took the shot above). I found it this weekend while I was searching for a completely different shot.


The set-up photo above (click for a larger view) was taken by my buddy Dave Moser, and that’s my buddy Terry White holding a Lastolite 30″ TriGrip Diffuser (here’s the link to it on B&H) in front of the window. The sunlight was pretty harsh and direct, so I had Terry hold the TriGrip in front of the direct light to soften, spread, and diffuse it, to give you the shot you see at the top of this post.

The lighting is a little flatter and less directional than I usually go for, but when I looked at the shot on my laptop (which is what I’m doing in the shot above), I was happy with the overall look. So basically, I just tamed the light with a simple diffuser—no flashes or reflectors—just that one diffuser.

TECH SPECS: Shot with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III, with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS lens (at 100mm), at f/4 at 1/200 of a second in Aperture Priority mode.

Anyway, I thought since I found the set-up shot, I’d share it here. I usually have that Lastolite 1-stop diffuser with me on every location shoot, and its paid for itself many times over (I also use the Lastolite diffuser to spread and soften the light from a Nikon SB-800 off-camera flash).

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