Virtues of Using Window Light For Video

For a quick and beautiful lighting set up it’s hard to beat using a window as the main light source. You don’t want to use a window that may have sunlight. Instead look for a northern facing window which will insure a soft lighting that’s easy to work with. Using window light for video is not new. Professional photographers often prefer this natural northern light for portraits. But this kind of lighting was discovered long ago.

Window light for video
“The Art of Painting” by Vermeer

Vermeer, the master Dutch Painter, (1632 – 1675) was famous for his use of the soft light from a window. The north window was best as it never had sunlight which could introduce harsh light with deep shadows. Jan Vermeer’s paintings have been called frozen films or cinematic dramas in paint and canvas. Girl with a Pearl EarringUsing Window Light For Video is a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. It is also one of Vermeer’s most famous and beautiful paintings. The film does a superb job of interpreting Vermeer’s art and use of soft lighting.

How to Use Window Light

Keep your back toward the window and keep the subject facing directly into the window or at a 45 degree angle so the light will softly illuminate the side facing the window. If necessary, a white card or reflectors can be used to fill in the shadow side. This produces a dramatic look which is fast and simple to do.

A reflector like this 5 in 1 Light Reflector is very portable and can be used indoors and out. It can also be used to keep the sun off a subject or to bounce fill light on a person’s face.

Video Producer Course

Produce Business Videos For Profit
Start part-time or full-time in this lucrative and satisfying work. Earn the respect of small businesses, corporations and non-profits who rely on your expertise. This is an amazing adventure and the best way to pay for video equipment!

Video Producer course.

Keep Reading...

Canon EF to Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera Active Metabones Speed Booster

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera now has an Active Speed Booster for Canon EF lenses. This opens up a vast array of great lenses.

Read More
Parody of Birdman

Make A Parody

Looking for a great topic for your next video? Make a parody of a well-known film. The example above may get your creative juices flowing, but it will only be meaningful if you’ve seen Birdman which just won the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday night. Below is the full length trailer. The film is […]

Read More
iPhone 5s shoots 120 fps slow motion

iPhone 5s Slow Motion Video At 120fps

Slow motion makes nearly everything look better. Apple’s new iPhone 5s can do something no other smart phone cannot do – shoot 120 fps. The Canon 7D, the Panasonic GH3 and G5, Sony NEX 5, 6, 7, as well as my own Sony Ea50 all shoot 50p/60p. Straight out of the camera it looks pretty […]

Read More
GoPro HERO4 Session Camera

GoPro HERO4 Session Camera Price Cut From $399 to $199

GoPro HERO4 Session Camera Price Cut From $399 to $199 The GoPro HERO4 Session Camera is the smallest, lightest GoPro yet. It features easy one-button control to power up and capture videos or stills with one press. The camera captures 1080p60; 720p100; and 1440p30 video. This camera is waterproof down to 33 feet so it […]

Read More


Facebook Comments

One thought on “Virtues of Using Window Light For Video

  1. Joe Forte

    Great post on using window light. I was always a little confused on how to use window light but this article really drove the point home. I never really thought too much about the direction of the window but by using the northern window, it makes sense that there wouldn’t be any shadows. I’m definitely going to have to try that on our next video production. Thanks again for all the tips Hal!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award