I absolutely love making portraits and working with different lighting techniques, so for this week’s black and white image, I decided to share this low key image that was inspired by Frank Doorhof. Frank has been such an inspiration to me, and is a current-day master at getting just the right ratio of light and shadow. One trick that I have learned from him, is that you don’t always have to shine the light directly on your model or subject. By angling it slightly more toward the backdrop, you create a more dramatic and interesting look.
So, next time you light something or someone, position the light source so that it is pointing slightly behind your subject, and then walk around your subject as you make the shots. I chose to show a straight-on shot here, but by taking a step either to my right or left would completely change the mood of this image, either by opening up the light, or bringing out the shadow, while at the same time not adjusting your light or the model.
For this week’s black and white post, I thought I’d share an image from a really fun shoot I did a few months ago. This was a simple one-light setup with a shoot-through umbrella placed at 45-degrees to the left of the subject, and pointed down at 45-degrees toward him.
This is a friend of mine, and he grew a moustache for Movember last year to promote men’s health. Since he regularly wore those aviators, I couldn’t help but ask him to pose as a mean cop workin’ the beat. The hardest part of the shot was keeping him from laughing.
It’s amazing what you can get from using a single light source. I now have a couple more lighting tools, but all you really need are a light and a reflector.