Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Black on Black

Sometimes it's the simplest setups that get the best results and often the easiest to get wrong. So I thought I'd share my setup for achieving a rich black on black image within camera, without having to faff* around too much in post production.
(Click for a larger image)

The problem always lays in needing lots of light on you subject to bring out the detail, without getting too much - if any - light on the background. But not so much light, that your blacks start to turn grey. Below you can see the setup I used to achieve the image above which, whilst not the most beautiful, demonstrates a strong/rich black on black result.
To restrict the fall off from my main light source, I used a 2'x2' soft box supported by a larger silver reflector held just out of shot to serve as a fill in for the shadows/eyes. Then used umbrellaed lights (power split from one B2 pack) to act as rim lighting to hold the edges of the subject. Finally I used black 3'x9' ploy boards, to mask any rouge light from hitting the background or camera.

I hope that all made sense, let me know what you think :)

 *vb (often folled by about)
informal (British) to dither or fuss

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