How to Get Dappled Light on a Budget in a Small Home Photo Studio

If you’re looking for at-home photo ideas, here’s an 18-minute behind-the-scenes video by photographer Irene Rudnyk showing how you can get dappled light for a portrait shoot with a small budget and studio space.

In searching for interesting lighting, Rudnyk stumbled across a tutorial by photographer Jake Hicks on emulating dappled light — like what you get through leaves on a sunny day — in the studio.

You’ll need to buy a set of glass blocks. These wave pattern glass blocks are commonly used for windows and walls in showers, bathrooms, and basements. They may cost around $4 each (or less if you find a deal or buy in bulk).

A glass block available at Home Depot.

Combining the blocks into a miniature wall and placing it between your light and your subject creates a particular dappled look.

Rudnyk also drew and cut out shapes from a piece of cardboard to create a more dramatic look.

“This was my very, very first time trying out this technique, so I’m not 100% happy with how these images turned out,” Rudnyk says. “Now that I know how this effect works, and how to utilize it perfectly, I think the next time I use it I’m gonna be much happier with the outcome.”