View Full Version : How would you create this look?

9-May-2015, 09:56
I'm completely in love with this image.
I took the image from this source (https://www.worldphoto.org/about-the-sony-world-photography-awards/fine-art-printing/).

How would you create this high contrast without loosing detail and sharpness?

Would you know of any photographers who have this as their signature look?

Thanks for having a look!


Mark Sampson
9-May-2015, 14:52
looks like a ring-light flash.

9-May-2015, 15:33
You'd have to see the eye catchlights to see if it was a ringlight. It looks sorta like Mortensen's basic lighting as well. (from his pictorial lighting book) where the edges of the body have a nice light falloff.

Ken Lee
9-May-2015, 15:40
How would you create this high contrast without loosing detail and sharpness?

Under-expose, over-develop and... be sure to apply liberal quantities of moisturizer :rolleyes:

9-May-2015, 16:10
Lots of Ferricyanide.

9-May-2015, 17:04
How would you create this...?


Alan Gales
9-May-2015, 22:17
As far as the lighting goes, it looks like a ring light or a single flash to me. As mentioned earlier if a ring light was used you can tell it by the catchlights in the eyes.

10-May-2015, 03:46


Fiber base paper negative and studio lighting

Not exactly the same look compared to your example but pretty close I guess

12-May-2015, 05:33
Let's see if I understand this...

1) a small, but still soft, very directional light source
2) a very contrasty exposure/negative/print
3) a young goddess a subject


Drew Wiley
12-May-2015, 16:02
No need for overdevelopment. A normal neg on a suitable mid-grade or VC paper would have plenty of wiggle room. Hard to say over the web, but some Farmer's
reducer might have been used on the whites of the eyes. The lighting is actually a bit soft. Exposure-wise, can't say, because one would have to see the actual
print to determine how much gradation or detail is in the shadows. Helps to have a "classic" lens that does well at a fairly wide opening, to get that "rounding"
with shallow depth of field. Some makeup, obviously.

Tracy Storer
13-May-2015, 22:00
There is a synergy between the models complexion and the lighting. Knowing how to light also depends on understanding what/who we're lighting. Not talking down, but being absolutely serious. Some subjects have more shiny or more matte skin, wrinkles or not, etc.......first task is to really (really)look at the subject. Especially when trying to deconstruct / reproduce an existing look.
Should this be in the new lighting sub forum ?

Randy Moe
13-May-2015, 22:37
Under-expose, over-develop and... be sure to apply liberal quantities of moisturizer :rolleyes:

Pretty sure Ken Lee is not joking about the moisturiser. I believe Karsh was known to apply vaseline to people for their portraits.

I find I am almost ready to ask that of my sitters and I will get more 'product' as stylists call it.

I am buying women's compacts for dusting, blushing, drying, powdering of people, it's all part of the process. Buy cheap ones on sale at discount shopes and use them once, as most don't want to share...

Make up people, style, before exposure, not post.

14-May-2015, 07:56
To me, looking at her face, a few things are noticeable.

* The lighting is somewhat soft, and coming from a fairly large object - her torso and face are both brightly lit, and the shadow below her jaw and in here collarbone areas are fairly soft
* The lighting is coming from straight in front of her - no nose shadow, and look at those clavicle/collarbone shadows, plus the catch light in her eyes is roughly centered
* The lighting is coming from slightly below her - given the collarbone shadows

So, you could replicate this lighting with a somewhat large light source, close to the subject, slightly raised, pointed straight at the person. A shoot-through umbrella or similar size softbox for example. This may be too soft of lighting to really get "the look" - a large beauty dish in a similar location could also work.

I don't think the "high contrast" look is from the lighting as much. Rather it's the person - dark hair, dark eyes, but smooth reflective skin. The main contribution from the lighting is that it was set up to light only her face, and not reflect off her hair, keeping the hair dark (or the hair was burned down later). Then the print itself was given a fair amount of contrast most likely.

Greg Miller
14-May-2015, 08:03
It's interesting to me how different people see different things here.

The predominant shadows on her clavicles are ABOVE the clavicles. This would indicate that the key light is below her clavicles. The shadow under the chin is produced by tilting the chin down and forehead forward.

14-May-2015, 08:08
Hmm, that is a good point. I redact my previous comment about the light being slightly above her. ;)