Do you light differently when shooting for B/W images?

Dear friends, I’ve been lazy… 

Well, not really. I’ve been crazy busy which is the reason I haven’t gotten around to update my blog in quite some time. I thought I’d do a post about lighting today, and how I light my images if I’m shooting for BW’s.

I know most photographers don’t think too much about if their shooting for an color image or a black and white image, which in my opinion is quite sad, since I believe that the lighting has a huge impact on how your black and white images turn out! I tend to increase the natural contrast of my images when shooting for BW. I do this by choosing a small but soft light source putting it fairly close to my subjects. In this shoot I used a Profoto 1×1,3′ softbox set above the model,  at approx 1m in front of the extremely athletic model, named Alex. The images included in this post have not yet visited Photoshop, and are all a pure result of the light only.

I know a lot of fitness and BB images are shot with harder light sources(spot etc), but I like my shadows to be a bit softer, and as long as the contrast is high, muscle definition is well preserved as you clearly see in the shoots below. Another thing I sometimes do, is to make tiny holes in the velcro of the outer diffuser. This lets some light pass out and hit my subject as harder light beams/spots. With some practice you can get a quite interesting light this way. In the picture below you should be able to see maybe four of these “spots”… do you??

In this first shot you see the main light from above.

Alex ©Jon Rune Trengereid

In the three next ones I’ve added a rim light from the models right side, set to about 1/3 of a stop less than the main light.

Alex ©Jon Rune Trengereid

Alex ©Jon Rune Trengereid

T4R1566

Alex ©Jon Rune Trengereid

For these shots I had my 1Dx with my EF 50mm f/1.2L set to f/6,3 @ 1/200.

My main light was a Profoto Pro-8a with a Profoto 1×1,3′ Softbox. The rimligt was a Profoto D1 500ws with a Profoto 1×4′ striplight.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you put some extra thought into the lighting the next time your aiming for an black and white image with impact. As always feel free to ask any questions you must have!

-jr-

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Do you light differently when shooting for B/W images?

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