Mehrsa: Testing High-Contrast Light

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Looking for a model with dark hair and dark eyes, the Persian beauty of Mehrsa was a great match. I was in need of dark looks because I was testing a new kind of grid in front of my Elinchrom Deep Octa.
A custom made grid, which keeps the upper part of the Deep Octa open and also the bottom part, only gridding the light in the middle part of the Deep Octa. That gave me more creative possibilities, as in giving the light a more feathered, contrasty look while giving the body a flattener, less contrasty look.

I was happy with Mehrsa because this shoot was just simple free work, which gave me enough time and room for testing and experimenting. I liked how her vibrant, colorful clothes accentuated the already contrasty, edgy look of the images. And because of her flawless skin and the feathering of the light, her face started to look a little waxy actually. You like it or you don’t like it, but for this particular shoot I liked it. Mehrsa has a little surrealistic, 3D-feeling about her, because of that.

It was great to light, in this case. But this type of lighting is not for the daily, regular work. Every inch counts, every little movement counts. It doesn’t give a model her freedom and creativity, so while lighting like this, everything depends on my hints and tips. Not a perfect situation but it can give interesting results. At least, I learned a lot of it, especially about the direction of light, angles of light, distance between the source and the subject and I also learned about how to use the edge of a light beam while gridded and feathered.

The key light, NOT pointing directly at Mehrsa but from the side was the Elinchrtom Deep Octa, the hair light was a simple light with dish and grid. The light from the back was a stripe with grid.