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B&W Nudes w/ low lighting


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Will Coveleskie , Jun 30, 2003; 03:28 p.m.

my mistake; it lands you in zone 0. no texture. i was looking at something else when i typed that.

Tom Meyer , Jun 30, 2003; 04:58 p.m.

none of these examples look like "low light" photography. Light the subject well, and underexpose if you want the entire set to be rendered dark. If you want the background substantially darker than the subject, be sure there's more light on the subject than there is on the background. If subject and background are less than 3 stops different from each other, they will both easily record on a normally developed sheet of film and in a straight print on normal paper, normally developed when photographed in the same light.

The easiest fix is to not have background and subject in the same light. Either block light off the background, or move it further from the lightsource that illuminates your subject, and not into a secondary light source.

Your example, Sean, looks like a bright small light (small relative to the size of the subject) set at 90 degress to the lens axis and projecting it's beam parallel with the subjects thigh. She is oiled and sprayed with water, and most likely, dark skinned. "Crossed_Arms" is lit with a larger source at the same position. Of importance in both images is the directional quality of the main light (grid or softbox), and the lack of fill light. Hang black cloth on the left of the set and behind the camera, wear dark clothes, and be sure there is nothing light in the room (ceiling?) that might reflect into the set... t

steven lagree , Jul 01, 2003; 07:38 p.m.

My apologies Will, I stand corrected. I was only speaking from experience and didn't take time to look up the 'theory'.

Joe Stephenson , Jul 10, 2003; 04:49 p.m.

Steven opined:

“The biggest mistake I see in other photographer's attempts at achieving this, is the use of flash. It just doesn't deliver the warmth in the shadows.”

I have seen this idea and related ideas put forth many times. But, any lighting effect that can be achieved with one light source can also be produced with other light sources. It’s not clear what “warmth” refers to in this context. Color temperature is not generally an issue when using B&W film, so what is meant by the term?

This may seem a small point, but it is important to use terms carefully so that we all understand what they mean. Otherwise, our discussions are lacking in precision and meaning.


Joe Stephenson

Tom Meyer , Jul 11, 2003; 02:21 p.m.

Maybe it's the other area of confusion (there are only 2, you know), when mixing the terms "flash" and "strobe" and their mechanical origins, on camera units and studio equipment. I break them down like that, but not everyone else does. Your point (Joe) is a good one: Be clear at the expense of being obvious... t

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