So I’m sure a few of you are cursing me for this month’s challenge… actually, I know one of you is, since you e-mailed me to tell me.  Hi Laura :oD  Anyway, so this month’s challenge was all about using natural light indoors, and the point was to show that without any studio equipment to help you (and we’ll cover that next month, with prices starting at all of £3-odd) then it’s hard to get a good clean shot that mimics those beautiful photos beloved of lifestyle bloggers, especially the ones with the white backgrounds.

I took most of these in my ‘studio’ aka my spare bedroom.  It’s painted entirely in white, with white furniture to try and make the most of the light, but I deliberately didn’t use anything else to try and help, other than perching my model on some foam core board, so he didn’t fall down the back of the bookcase that it’s resting on.  The corner of my living room/flat points almost due south, so the sun starts on the bedroom side and works round to the living room and kitchen side.  I should also explain that I hurt my back, so that’s why I’m not a bit lower down for most of these shots!

This first shot was around 10 am.  What sun there had been was hitting the opposite wall at this point, having done the full on sunlight around 8am.  Lockheart hasn’t particularly got a noticeable shadow in this one, although you can see where the foam core board meets the wall in a line at the back:

By 12 noon there was no sun in the room at all, and you can now see shadow starting to be more noticeable on his left paw side:

A couple of hours later again and the shadow is marginally more pronounced, but that’s more because it had clouded over a bit more outside:

The thing is, that shadow is okay for this demo, but not necessarily something you would want in a product shot.  Lockheart isn’t that far away from the window, but you can see in the shadows below that if he were closer to the window, he’d be in shadow from the side wall.  You can also see his shadow shown much more clearly:

I do have very thick walls though, so that doesn’t help me.  Lockheart’s just giving you a wee idea of the scale here:

So what to do about that shadow, can it be rescued without additional kit?

Well, if I change my angle (and this was rather painful with the back issues!), then it’s less obvious.


But if you look at the portrait orientation of this shot, it seems more noticeable, possibly because it appears as though the shadow is contained within the frame rather than tapering off like in the landscape orientation.

So having blown through all of Lockheart’s contracted hours for the week, I moved into the living room, which, had the sun been out, would now have been getting the direct sun.  Although it was raining by this point, you can still see a few things in this photo or a baby quilt, taken on my design wall directly opposite the window, for instance it’s darker at the top than at the bottom (you can tell by looking at the navy cross hatch and turquoise stripes in the top and bottom rows), which means the colours are off too.  Now to the human eye there wasn’t an obvious difference, because the eye can process many, many stops of light and regulate across it.  For the simple camera, it can only see a small range, and it highlights the differences a lot more.


Let’s see what you got, did you manage to find some nice locations?  Link up below: