Quick, Simple, Cheap DIY Window Simulator

I definitely love DIY projects, especially those that help me out with a project in a niche way. I had a story planned and I wanted the opening and closing shots to be of sunlight / moonlight streaming through a window, illuminating a girl who had fallen asleep reading. How the hell was I going to do that?

DIY Window Simulator Snoot to the rescue!

I’ve used snoots in the past, though usually of the rounded variety. Great for accents, and bringing focus to where you want it. What I needed here was a rectangular spot with hard edges, such as you would see if the sun or moon were streaming into a window.


To do this, I took a piece of foamcore I got from the dollar store, and made the contraption above. The distance from the flash head to the rectangular opening creates the sharp edge, the further the shape is from the flash head, the sharper the edge.

It was super easy to make as well. Cut two shapes with 2″ on one end, and 9″ on the other, 18″ long down the center for the sides. Do the same with 3″ and 12″ for the top and bottom. The front is just a 9″x12″ rectangle with a cutout for a mock window. Tape it all up, tape it to your flash head, and you’ve got a window. Change your WB to make it blue and you’ve got a fake moonlight.


Autumn – Canon T1i – Canon EF 24/2.8 – Neewer TT850 – Original here [NSFW].

Quick, easy, cheap, and helps me stretch my creative muscles. The front cutout can be changed at will too. Since the distance makes the edge hard, you can experiment with the shapes. Heart shaped gelled for a valentine’s day studio shot?  Try it out, let me know what you do!

Featured image up top: Autumn – Canon 5D – YongNuo 35/2 – Neewer TT850

This article has 3 comments

  1. Stefan Reply

    Dude, that’s brilliant. I always read your articles and it has been a while since you posted one. Keep up the good work!

  2. Gustavo Gabriel Reply

    That’s awesome. I love DIY projects and this is a very good one. Your job is amazing.

  3. Dipo Reply

    Thanks for sharing this. I quite agree with Stefan as I have been revisiting your blog for new content for a while. Great images as usual with minimal gear.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *