Please take a look at the picture below from Adrian C. Murray:

enter image description here

Here subject is bright and light is coming from window. I cannot use HDR to take this shot as my subject is moving. What should I do to take this kind of shot.

I couldn't think of any way to take such an excellent picture! any help?

Adrian C. Murray has said in his blog that:

I use 100% pure available light. Beyond that, it’s primarily natural light. When indoors I like to utilize a window (as I’m sure you’ve noticed). If outdoors? Well, I think you could probably figure that one out.

While my use of natural light may appear obvious to you, what might not be obvious is that I do not even use any kind of reflectors balance my image. Ever.

  • @PhilipKendall, I used HDR but when I merged I had a blurry subject. I overexposed and right part of the picture was blown out. I under exposed and I didn't have clear subject face
    – Alireza
    Jan 12 '16 at 10:09
  • I thought for sure the photographer was using a gold reflector from the left, but at his site he specifically states he doesn't use reflectors. Added that statement to the blockquote from his blog.
    – scottbb
    Jan 12 '16 at 14:16
  • Do you want general answer to the title question, or do you want to replicate this example?
    – mattdm
    Jan 13 '16 at 1:46
  • @mattdm, I need both! Actually I want to know how photographer has done such a stunning shot and then what we can do to replicate such a picture
    – Alireza
    Jan 13 '16 at 5:46

The photographer can claim there are no reflectors all he wants, but there are several things visible in the photo that are functioning as reflectors!

The pages of the book the child is holding are acting as reflectors to provide fill light on the face and the bottom of the child's left arm. Parts of the light colored chair are acting as a reflector, notably the wing to the child's right (camera left). The top of the teddy bear is reflecting light towards the child. The side of the chair towards the window is reflecting fill light back on the side of the teddy bear. There's also something off camera left reflecting light back onto the front part of the side of the chair away from the window. So to say there are no reflectors is not entirely accurate.

And the smoke/fog is also diffusing the light. Just boiling a pot of water in the room until the air is supersaturated can have a similar effect with bright sunlight coming through a window into a relatively dark room. The last thing you want to do is use a flash that is off-axis to the light coming through the window, as that will destroy the light beam effect.

  • THIS is the answer I was looking for. I appreciate for the time. +1
    – Alireza
    Jan 12 '16 at 13:54
  • This answer is good, but It is somehow incomplete. Aditionals steps are shooting in raw, balance your image in a good software, and having a kik a.. camera with a good dynamic range on the dark areas.
    – Rafael
    Jan 12 '16 at 22:48
  • Shooting raw is a given in any situation that doesn't require instant usability or a frame rate faster than the camera is capable of shooting when saving raw files. Using good software to post process is also a given. And proper exposure is more important than the differences in DR from one camera to the next. In a situation such as the example pictured, additional DR only allows more leeway in not nailing exposure.
    – Michael C
    Jan 13 '16 at 16:24

Are you restrcted to just use natural light from the window ? I would but 2 very powerfull flashes outside and tiny bit of smoke in the room . Adjust color temperature . This should do . It needs a lot of light measuring of course

  • Smoke is vivid everyone can see that it is smoke, but here there is no smoke. Look at the child foot there is not powerful flashes! It seems dark
    – Alireza
    Jan 12 '16 at 10:50
  • I said this is how i would do it . Not how it was done in the original - We can only assume on that .
    – Alex Nikov
    Jan 12 '16 at 10:53
  • 1
    @AlirezaHos Actually, the fact that there is not a lot of light on the sole of the child's foot does not mean that flashes weren't used. It more likely means that the light from flashes or any other light sources was positioned, directed and controlled in a way that meant that not much light fell onto the foot. The image may have been composed in a studio with no windows. A large bright light source slightly behind the child and way off to the right, with a honeycomb grid on the front could achieve this same result. This could be a high power flash in a softbox as much as it could be daylight Jan 12 '16 at 13:15
  • 1
    @AlirezaHos I would also agree that it is most likely to be smoke, or vapour, or something from some sort of smoke machine. There has to be particles in the air for light to reflect off in order for this to be possible in camera. It is possible that the effect of the light rays was added using Photoshop or something in post production, but in my mind, it's easier to create the effect with a real smoke machine Jan 12 '16 at 13:19
  • @laurencemadill please take a look at the edit part.
    – Alireza
    Jan 12 '16 at 13:27

It looks to me like the photographer has used a reflector to bounce light back on to the chair.

  • Could you perhaps expand this answer to explain a bit more - why do you think this, where do you think the reflector is, etc?
    – Philip Kendall
    Jan 12 '16 at 12:57
  • He has not used any reflector as he has mentioned in his blog. You can see the edit part of my question
    – Alireza
    Jan 12 '16 at 13:27

Firstly, as another commenter has said, he's got objects functioning as reflectors in frame, even if not literal reflectors.

Secondly, he's using a camera with a rather large dynamic range (A7Rii) so will get an automatic boost over a lower-spec camera.

Thirdly, think of HDR differently. I always shoot raw and process using CaptureOne Pro. I can do a really quite good HDR from a single exposure using that; it's doing the same trick that we've done for ages on 8 bit JPEGs using the 14 bit raw data. Shooting a Nikon D600 and processing this way, I've got a photo shot inside a sea cave showing detail on the roof inside and the sunlit wall near midday outside. If I can't get enough that way for any reason or want more precise control, I can always process the same exposure twice with different settings and merge - see https://www.flickr.com/photos/gpwebb/14473460635/in/dateposted/ for example. Gives a wider dynamic range from the same exposure, so no problems with moving subjects.

  • re: your 3rd point: spot on. That's basically exactly what the photographer says on his blog: "I make sure I edit things in post to properly balance an image."
    – scottbb
    Jan 12 '16 at 19:42
  • Yeap, as you comented, the dinamyc range of thoose Sony a7 series on the shadows is great.
    – Rafael
    Jan 12 '16 at 22:44

Note that on this picture, the dynamic range is not as big as it seems. The photographer carefully avoided including the window itself, but suggests it with curtains. Bright curtains, for sure, but not as bright as the window itself.

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