I have a really cool living room set-up where I have all natural lighting, as long I sit the subject right in the middle of the room, the light is almost perfect, depending on the time of day I am shooting in. I have a small skylight and four large windows on each side of the room, and as long as there are clouds outside, and bright enough, the light is defused enough to get some really soft light–studio quality light.
There are no soft-boxes, strobes, beauty lights, reflectors or hot light in the room. All the light you see is from the Sun outside, through the windows and skylight. I used a black muslin as my back drop becuase I wanted to black and whites. I am on a black and white kick lately; I am sure I will kick that phase soon.
Today was nice and overcast, as we were getting a mid summer thunder storm, so to make the best of an indoor day, I set up the studio and started playing with the light set-up. I realize now how important a light metre is becuase when the darker clouds rolled in, it threw all my camera settings off.
I metered my camera (Sony A77) to I.S.O. 100, F11, shooting between 1/250 to 1/100 (one series was at 1/25) with an 18-300 zoom lens (I was too lazy to switch lenses). Normally I use my 80mm portrait lens, but not today.
Yes, I can make the images brighter, and full of colour, but today I was in the mood for shadowy black and white shots. I shot in normal RAW mode, and did the saturation (black and white) in my post editing. I used DarkTable for my initial post editing of the Sony RAW files, then created the collage, above, using GIMP.