Something I have noticed about all my 3D renders is that the light source has always been a constant. Which would make sense if it were studio lighting, but with a lot of my renders I try to achieve realism. One thing I noticed recently is that light in the real world is never uninterrupted. There is always something breaking up the light. And so I set out to play with lighting setups that create more of a natural look.
The scene is pretty simple, just an plane for the floor, a plane for the wall, a cut out in the wall for a window and an image plane of a tree to break up the light. Behind the tree, angled in towards the window is a sun lamp, and just for ambient light, there is a HDRI set to a low value of 0.05 just so that the shadows aren't complete black.
I am going to be playing around a lot more with this idea and am excite to see what results I can produce. The world around us has all the inspiration one needs!
Happy Blending :)
Here is the Artstation project with viewport screenshots as well as the floor node network.