the window upstairs faces south. This is where I set up a still life base. Weekly fruit to contrast and harmonize with bowl, background or cloth. favorite objects (subjects) to use for arranging, color background paper. The weather, sun/cloud diffusion, time of day, season, all factors in the light.
I enjoy waiting and grabbing the light it's right. In November, Pennsylvania, north facing light, that time is 10-11am and 2:20-3:30pm.
At night I use a single Sure-shot flashlight and remote shutter control.
For shallow depth of field, I prefer f/stop 3.5 (or smallest f/stop on your camera), macro lens, clean lens and mirrors.