login info join!
Forums > Photography Talk > Your favorite way of creating ambient w/ strobes Search   Reply
Photographer
Joey B Photography
Posts: 235
Syracuse, New York, US


This post is mostly to share ideas.

So lately I've been using strobes in different ways to recreate the look of ambient light flowing in from a window. Normally of course I would simply shoot during the daylight hours, however because of my work schedule these days I'm having to shoot in the evenings instead of the day. I've found that simply placing a bed sheet over a window and popping a strobe through it really pisses off the neighbors, and while normally I wouldn't care, they tend to cause more trouble for me afterwards. So indoors I've been playing with two softboxes stacked on top of each other with flags to imitate a window, and it works fairly well.

What's your favorite way of recreating ambient with strobe?
Mar 25 13 08:40 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,238
New York, New York, US


If you want to light it from outside, just tent the window.  That's what we've done with hotlights for video shoots.  Meter everything, turn off the modeling lights and tent the light to the window with commando cloth on a PVC frame sealed up with velcro and held in place on a C-stand.

Your neighbors will not be the wiser, unless they are particularly nosey.

Instead of a white sheet you might want some better diffusion material though.  You can also gel the light when doing this (say you want it a bit cooler for "moonlight" or a bit warmer for "golden hour").
Mar 25 13 08:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lumatic
Posts: 13,750
Brooklyn, New York, US


Big white board - foam core, painted, whatever.  Bounce.  Barn doors or grid if needed, or flag around the board.  Voila.

Or a big softbox.
Mar 25 13 08:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Joey B Photography
Posts: 235
Syracuse, New York, US


Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:
If you want to light it from outside, just tent the window.  That's what we've done with hotlights for video shoots.  Meter everything, turn off the modeling lights and tent the light to the window with commando cloth on a PVC frame sealed up with velcro and held in place on a C-stand.

Good idea. I'll have to try that!

Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:
Your neighbors will not be the wiser, unless they are particularly nosey.

My neighbors are old critters with nothing better to do than make trouble for all of their neighbors. Only 1 more year in this place and I'm moving to the country with no neighbors smile

Mar 25 13 08:49 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,238
New York, New York, US


For inside, again, build a large box frame out of PVC.  Use commando cloth on all but one side (you could also use black foamcore, but if you're going to make the thing it's better to just make it once so that it can be easily stored and lasts).  For the output side use diffusion material.  Inside the box, on the back side, but white board or a reflective white cloth.  Inside the box place at least two strobes (one high, one low - four if you need more power or coverage).  Bounce the light off the back of the box out through the diffusion silk.
Mar 25 13 08:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D M E C K E R T
Posts: 4,786
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


6ft white diffusion panel, dean collins style. made from pvc.
Mar 25 13 08:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carle Photography
Posts: 9,227
Oakland, California, US


What size/type of window?

Are we talking huge sliding class door style window or stained glass window?

But ya, not too hard to build a faux window modifier.
Mar 25 13 08:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,869
Upland, California, US


Your favorite way of creating ambient w/ strobes

Mine is setting up a tripod mounted speedlight (pocket wizard activated Vivitar 285) and using the strobe as the main while using the sun as a fill.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v330/GaryAbigt/Poppy1.jpg

Worked out pretty sweet on Poppie at the Pizmo car club shoot... borat
Mar 26 13 08:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,427
Salem, Oregon, US


i hang a sheet from the ceiling and fire my strobe through the sheet.
Mar 26 13 09:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Joey B Photography wrote:
This post is mostly to share ideas.

So lately I've been using strobes in different ways to recreate the look of ambient light flowing in from a window. Normally of course I would simply shoot during the daylight hours, however because of my work schedule these days I'm having to shoot in the evenings instead of the day. I've found that simply placing a bed sheet over a window and popping a strobe through it really pisses off the neighbors, and while normally I wouldn't care, they tend to cause more trouble for me afterwards. So indoors I've been playing with two softboxes stacked on top of each other with flags to imitate a window, and it works fairly well.

What's your favorite way of recreating ambient with strobe?

Bare bulb in another room and let it bounce around and come through the doorway.

Mar 26 13 01:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,833
El Segundo, California, US


Select Models wrote:
Your favorite way of creating ambient w/ strobes

Mine is setting up a tripod mounted speedlight (pocket wizard activated Vivitar 285) and using the strobe as the main while using the sun as a fill.

Did you read the OP?

Joey B Photography wrote:
So lately I've been using strobes in different ways to recreate the look of ambient light flowing in from a window. Normally of course I would simply shoot during the daylight hours, however because of my work schedule these days I'm having to shoot in the evenings instead of the day.

Posting an image shot in the daytime kind of misses the point.

Joey B/OP: as noted, a diffusion panel can do that without any problem, if you have room. Even pinning a sheet to the ceiling, and lighting it from the back would do. If you want the catchlight to look like a paned window, black electrical tape can do that.

Mar 26 13 10:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,869
Upland, California, US


Kevin Connery wrote:
Did you read the OP?

Yes... the OP asked this question in his title: 

Your favorite way of creating ambient w/strobes

And I responded with the message and image posted above.

Mar 27 13 09:17 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,238
New York, New York, US


Select Models wrote:
Yes... the OP asked this question in his title: 

Your favorite way of creating ambient w/strobes

And I responded with the message and image posted above.

Except that you missed the point, and the image you posted in no way reflects what the OP is trying to do.  Did you just read the title or the post as well?  Or did you just want an excuse to post one of your photos in a thread, when it had no bearing on the question being asked?

Mar 27 13 09:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,869
Upland, California, US


Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:
Except that you missed the point, and the image you posted in no way reflects what the OP is trying to do?

Interesting... so why dont you tell me what you think the OP's point is.  The image I posted shows ambient light mixed with strobe... EXACTLY what the OP stated in his title... roll

Mar 27 13 09:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,265
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


Select Models wrote:

Interesting... so why do you tell me what you think the OP's point is.  The image I posted shows ambient light mixed with strobe... EXACTLY what the OP stated in his title... roll

err... no he didn't - he said: "ambient light flowing in from a window"...

I think 'window' sums it up quite nicely... big_smile

Mar 27 13 09:34 am  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,238
New York, New York, US


Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:
Except that you missed the point, and the image you posted in no way reflects what the OP is trying to do?

Select Models wrote:
Interesting... so why do you tell me what you think the OP's point is.  The image I posted shows ambient light mixed with strobe... EXACTLY what the OP stated in his title... roll

So you didn't read the actual post.  Kevin already pointed it out, but I'll do so again. 

Joey B Photography wrote:
So lately I've been using strobes in different ways to recreate the look of ambient light flowing in from a window. Normally of course I would simply shoot during the daylight hours, however because of my work schedule these days I'm having to shoot in the evenings instead of the day.

He is not looking to mix strobe with ambient, espeically not in an over power the sun sort of way as you are doing here.  He is looking to recreate the soft look of sunlight flowing in through a window.  Your post does not address that.  Perhaps in your vast library of images, you have one that does.

Mar 27 13 09:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Silver Mirage
Posts: 1,578
Plainview, Texas, US


Simply bounced off a white wall will often work. Or bounce the light off a V flat, with or without diffusion material. (My V flats are made from styrofoam insulations board - readily available at home stores, easy to cut and very light for easy handling.)

Then there is the old favorite: Shoot he light through a cheap plastic shower curtain. Hang it from a bar or build a frame of PVC or 1x2 lumber. Shower curtains are roughly 6 feet square, so a frame about 5-1/2 feet on a side works well.
Mar 27 13 09:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,265
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


I just use big softboxes (as many as I can fit in the room)...

This was two Bowens 500 heads firing through 1x1m softboxes at camera-left. I dragged the shutter to record some of the ambient as well...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8236/8589186516_b33aea4149_c.jpg


and with no ambient at all, just strobe:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8109/8589181112_8cc7cb33a5_c.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8515/8589180546_774b1e8ca4_c.jpg
Mar 27 13 09:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,453
Orlando, Florida, US


It might be overly simply, but I just put the strobe outside and fire it into the room through the window. I find it works better than daylight since it's consistent.

I don't have any of those examples in my port here, but I've been doing it more and more lately for boudoir and to achieve a beautiful flare in more casual looks in the living room.
Mar 27 13 09:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,869
Upland, California, US


The OP asked this exact question in his post:

What's your favorite way of recreating ambient with strobe?

And I posted the image with details.
Mar 27 13 09:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photo212grapher
Posts: 1,545
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


http://www.adorama.com/alc/article/14101

Cover the window completely on the outside. Then hit it with your strobes to make it a huge softbox.
Mar 27 13 09:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,265
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


Select Models wrote:
The OP asked this exact question in his post:

What's your favorite way of recreating ambient with strobe?

And I posted the image with details.

I suggest you read the whole post again - 2nd paragraph, 1st line.

Mar 27 13 09:53 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 7,194
New York, New York, US


Continuous light outside, sheer curtain over the window. If you want a more dramatic window effect you can use masking tape and put some stripes across the window. Remove the curtain.  I tried this already. I was bored. No volunteers, it was about 1am.  I used a Lowell Tota it's about 750watts about 4 ft from the window. I saw this done in one of those Scott Kelby videos. Nice effect. Change your white balance to what you like.

You can do it with a strong strobe or two speed lights.
Mar 27 13 09:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,265
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


photo212grapher wrote:
http://www.adorama.com/alc/article/14101

Cover the window completely on the outside. Then hit it with your strobes to make it a huge softbox.

Sometimes you can't access the outside - especially in hotels on the upper floors...
You need to be able to work within the confines of the room itself...

Mar 27 13 09:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 7,194
New York, New York, US


RKD Photographic wrote:

Sometimes you can't access the outside - especially in hotels on the upper floors...
You need to be able to work within the confines of the room itself...

In that case you can duct tape the speed lights to the window and try firing it through a sheer curtain to soften it. That would be an option haha..

Mar 27 13 09:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,265
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


Marin Photography wrote:

In that case you can duct tape the speed lights to the window and try firing it through a sheer curtain to soften it. That would be an option haha..

lol...

...or just do what I did with the 'cat' piccies (above).

Mar 27 13 09:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan Howell
Posts: 2,242
New York, New York, US


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130320/18/514a62253f0e1_m.jpg

This is a Profoto head into a medium sized Plume wafer softbox about 1' from Asian-style carved wall balanced to the actual daylight coming thru window in background.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120828/14/503d3dee10b44_m.jpg

This is 2 Profoto heads bouncing into white box created with 3 4'x8' foamcor walls for the back and side. The front is one layer of Lumilux diffusion material with white linen sheer curtains which are somewhat visible on floor. The result is a 4'x8' light panel starting at the floor.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130213/15/511c2472d3bbf_m.jpg

not sure if you'd want to count this but the streaks of light in the background are created from Profoto head into optical spot high with a combination of mesh cucalorus and hand-cut foamcor flags.
Mar 27 13 10:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Select Models wrote:

Yes... the OP asked this question in his title: 

Your favorite way of creating ambient w/strobes

And I responded with the message and image posted above.

Ha! Technically what you posted does answer that, but it was really about creating ambient light by using strobes, not ambient light "with" strobes together.

Mar 27 13 10:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,688
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Silver Mirage wrote:
Simply bounced off a white wall will often work. Or bounce the light off a V flat, with or without diffusion material. (My V flats are made from styrofoam insulations board - readily available at home stores, easy to cut and very light for easy handling.)

Then there is the old favorite: Shoot he light through a cheap plastic shower curtain. Hang it from a bar or build a frame of PVC or 1x2 lumber. Shower curtains are roughly 6 feet square, so a frame about 5-1/2 feet on a side works well.

But people will laugh at you and point fingers for using a cheap shower curtain.

Sorry, still a sore point with me. I just have to remember the quality of work coming from the person with the fingers.

Mar 27 13 12:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,688
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


RKD Photographic wrote:
I just use big softboxes (as many as I can fit in the room)...

This was two Bowens 500 heads firing through 1x1m softboxes at camera-left. I dragged the shutter to record some of the ambient as well...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8236/8589186516_b33aea4149_c.jpg


and with no ambient at all, just strobe:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8109/8589181112_8cc7cb33a5_c.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8515/8589180546_774b1e8ca4_c.jpg

And which model gets paid in tuna?

Mar 27 13 12:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,688
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Good Egg Productions wrote:
It might be overly simply, but I just put the strobe outside and fire it into the room through the window. I find it works better than daylight since it's consistent.

I don't have any of those examples in my port here, but I've been doing it more and more lately for boudoir and to achieve a beautiful flare in more casual looks in the living room.

McNally has a video where he does this.

A little more problematic when the window is 3 stories above ground.

Works great.

Must read all the posts before I comment.

Mar 27 13 12:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
rfordphotos
Posts: 4,812
Antioch, California, US


OP, I have used one of the Westcott 6' x 6' Scrim Jim panels with 3/4 stop white diffusion fabric, lit from the back... I made a "window frame" to sit on the fabric, and drapes or curtains to frame it.





Select Models wrote:
The OP asked this exact question in his post:

What's your favorite way of recreating ambient with strobe?

And I posted the image with details.

which everyone here knows completely missed the point of the post. You know it, we know it, so why keep this up?

And, if you want to argue semantics, read the question again.

"Your favorite way of creating ambient w/ strobes?" = thread title
"So lately I've been using strobes in different ways to recreate the look of ambient light flowing in from a window."  = second line of post

Your post in no way answered the question the OP posed.

Mar 27 13 02:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,869
Upland, California, US


MC Photo wrote:

Ha! Technically what you posted does answer that,

THANK YOU... and I won't be accepting any 'ifs, ands or buts' from the rest of the peanut gallery... wink

Mar 27 13 05:12 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,238
New York, New York, US


Mar 27 13 05:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photo212grapher
Posts: 1,545
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


photo212grapher wrote:
http://www.adorama.com/alc/article/14101

Cover the window completely on the outside. Then hit it with your strobes to make it a huge softbox.

RKD Photographic wrote:
Sometimes you can't access the outside - especially in hotels on the upper floors...
You need to be able to work within the confines of the room itself...

Sure you can access the outside with one of these:
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/ … _200342879

Seriously, you can create a window within the room if necessary.
http://www.tesco.com/direct/tesco-polye … 9-7522.prd

The real effect is the softer light, but for that natural light effect directional.

Mar 27 13 09:29 pm  Link  Quote 
  Search   Reply