Boudoir Low Key
When shooting low-key images, it is common to use two lights. The first is the main light for the subject and the second is used as a hair or rim light to give some separation from the background.
But if you can't use two lights (or haven't got two lights) as long as you use the right subject and clothes you can get away with good low key images.
With Carla I have a blonde haired model, so I know the hair is going to be fairly well defined against the black. So if I put her in a white shirt I know I'm going to get reasonable definition all round.
But, I'm still going to use the main light at quite an angle to Carla to create a much more dramatic look. Think of it this way - if the light faces Carla directly then the image is quite flat and drab. You could position it at the traditional 45 degrees from the subject and it would be an OK, quite acceptable image.
Moving it to nearly 90 degrees though introduces really strong shadowing across the figure which makes it much more contemporary, striking and dramatic.
If there was not quite enough light on the darker side of the image I would probably use a reflector on this type of shot just to put a little fill light into the shadows.
When shooting backs and bums there is always a balance between how easily you can see the face of the subject and how much of the bum is revealed. I like this half twist because we get a bit of both. Carla could have given just a slight lift in the shirt and this image would go from basically decent to essentially indecent.
Sheer materials are great for this type of work, giving a hint and tease of the figure below but without necessarily being revealing. With a sheer, semi-opaque material usually lifting it away from the body gives a more opaque look, bringing it closer to the body makes it more see through.
Side lighting is very dramatic as is overhead lighting. Frontal lighting is flat. Lighting from below is a bad Halloween effect!
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