How would you do this? Get the textures of the face and light in the eyes, rest black


TPF Noob!
Sep 25, 2010
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Oslo, Norway
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Yesterday I tried something I thought should work, but I'm unsure how to do it.
The idea was to place a Profoto strobe behinde my friend and a reflector in front, close to her.

The plan was to make all of here dark, and get the textures of her face with some light, and the eyes with light, but the rest should be covered in black.

How would anyone here have done that? :)

I have Profoto D1 strobes with batpack and speedlights/Ranger RX from Elnchrom. So I should have the equipment that I need.
Not sure what you mean, anything like this ?
Not seeing the relevance of placing the light behind the subject then using a reflector in front. Sounds like a job for a snoot to me, and maybe a grid as well.
Something like this?

(a single softbox, and the inverse square law can be your best friend)
I have a very hard time achieving this effect with full body portraits. I can easily blacken a background with a zoom lens and ocf metered to underexpose the background for headshots. I always have too much light spilling onto the background with a full body portrait using a wide angle lens and ocf. A gridded shoot wouldn't help in this case since the light would need to be far away from the subject. I think hss is the best choice in that case.

Maybe shooting outdoors and overcoming ambient light is easier than darkening a background indoors.
try a large striplight as a light souce (I use a large elinchrom) fairly close to the subject(2' or so) and the subject 6-8' from background and avoid spill onto the background (flags can be your friend).

With some practice, you'll get the hang of it, I typically use our cyclo area for 3/4 portraits, and the background is still black. It takes some practice, but the important thing to remember is that everytime you double the light to subject distance (to the background), you go down 2 stops. so 2' to subject and 8' to background gives you approx 4 stops light loss due to the inverse square law.

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