How was it lit: Hard contrast


Model & styling: Sharon Boucquez
MUA&H: Arian Ingels
Designer: Haute Gothure

Inspiration & moodboard

I wanted to shoot some different lighting than the feathered-softbox-at-a-45-degree-angle setup which I usually do.

The main inspiration for this shoot were some hard contrast black and white photo’s by Lindsay Adler. 

My goal was to get deep, sharp edged shadows. And to play a bit more with the placement of the shadows. I usually prefer to keep the shadow off the model’s face.

How was it lit

Gear list

  • Elinchrom D-Lite 4 RX
  • reflector
  • black roller curtain
  • white roller curtain
  • mobile backdrop stand
  • cinefoil
  •  gaffer tape
  • Canon 6D
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

For the white setup I used a bare bulb light to light up the backdrop. I made some DIY barndoors by taping a bit of cinefoil on the side of the lamp, to stop any potential spill onto the model.

The key light, modified with a reflector, was placed on camera left. I put the stand up as high as the ceiling would allow, and angled down, so that the cast shadow of the nose would connect with the shadow of the cheek. The downside though about having the light so high up  was that a lot of the time there wouldn’t be any catch lights in the model’s eyes. Unless she purposely posed with her head directed a little upwards.

The room we were shooting in had white walls, which was reflecting the key, filling in the shadows. I wanted near black shadows, so that was quite the opposite of what I wanted. With some cardboard and black paper I DIY’d a flag to block the white wall.

For some shots we also used a silver reflector to reflect some light back onto the corset, to highlight the texture of the leather.

The setup for the black backdrop and the split backdrop are pretty similar to each other.
I changed my shooting position, just because that was the quicker option, and the MUA held up the black roller curtain. The position of the key light was changed a bit, since the direction the model was facing had also changed.

The model moved closer to the backdrop. The backdrop light didn’t change, but the change of angle relative to the subject made it so that the light bouncing off the white backdrop changed into a subtle rim light.


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