Window light portraits with the Fuji X-T1 and 56mm lens

Jul 1, 2014 | Continuous Lighting, Location | 7 comments

How to take stunning window light portraits by taking control of your surroundings.

This is one of five videos that I was commissioned to make for Fujifilm UK this summer using the Fuji XT-1 and 56mm lens. All 5 Fujifilm chapters form part of this grand 18 chapter production called ILLUMINATION. This all new lavish, feature length production comprises nearly two hours of video training in 18 chapters and covers the use of Speedlights, big flash packs and natural light when making fabulous portraits on location.

Model: Victoria Coutts
Dress: Molly Mishi May
Makeup: Vicki Waghorn


  1. Rick James

    Great light control using the curtains. Always interesting, always useful, always professional.

    Great quality with the X-T1. If only it had in body image stabilization, it would be perfect. You say that you set the shutter speed to four times the focal length when you hand hold the camera as the resolution is so high. As the usual rule of thumb for minimum shutter speed with an unstabilized camera/lens is the reciprocal of the focal length (1/56 of a second), is the X-T1 particularly prone to camera shake. I have not needed to set the shutter speed on a full frame camera with an unstabilized lens to four times the shutter speed to prevent shake. I’m interested in the Fuji X-T1 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1, hence my query. Cheers Damien.

    • Damien

      Hi Rick,

      Back in the 1970s taking pictures on 35mm film printed on RA3 paper it was quite acceptable to use the reciprocal rule. As film resolution increased and then digital resolution further still that rule no longer applies. Full 36mm x 24mm sensor cameras with a 9 micron pixel pitch need about 1/2*f and for APSC at 6 micron with 0.7 x focal length factor I find I need 1/4*f to get pin sharp images hand held when viewing at 100%. That’s why I like the f/1.4 and f/1.2 primes. The zooms are no bother because of IS.



  2. Martin Makowski-Nottingham photographer

    Well made video Damien, some great results too. I love a third/far window control tip. I usually concentrate on near light source, forgetting to control light in the background just like you did. Thanks for sharing.

    • Damien

      Thanks Martin,

      Blocked shadows is a printers nightmare and this just sorts that issue without distracting from the main lighting.

      Cheers, Damien.

  3. Tracy Edwards

    I’m just going to have to invest…in the video (I already have the kit ;-) )

  4. Mark Dell

    Stunning Damien as usual
    I loved the tuition on light control a very technically useful video
    BTW I love my XT1

    • Damien

      Thanks Mark :)


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