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Black & white (or better, greyscale with high contrast) can be quite dramatic. Especially while applied to Nathalie with her
beautiful long blonde hair. I created some low-key images: images with a lot of black, dark tones. I love to let the light accentuate the body, the facial expressions and the overall balance.
This shoot with Nathalie was an experimental shoot. I tried a new combination of modifiers for my lights, to bundle it even more. That way, I could create a perfect silhouette of Nathalie and the only thing I had to do was giving her face the right accents with soft but contrasty and bundled light, as you can see on the right.
After that, the concept wasn’t finished. I felt I was missing something. I wanted to have a little bit more air to breathe, a more balanced way of light: I wanted to play with the contrasts to change the image from a low-key image to an image with some haze, flare. It was easy to obtain that effect, by pointing some lights straight to the camera, without any flags or modifiers.
On the left you see another image of Nathalie. This time we decided to work a little bit more over-the-top. Not only with the placement of the lights but also with the makeup and postprocessing.
I made the image more contrasty, fashionable and catchy, but less saturated at the same time. I created a high contrast setting again by placing the lights and flagging them precisely. Thanks to my Sekonic light meter, that was an easy job to me. I really can’t work without my light meter: the meter is my 3rd eye.
In the postprocessing I have been dodging and burning. You like it, or you don’t. Nathalie and I like it, it was part of the concept. Sometimes it’s good to go a little bit more over-the-top, because in the end it’s all about art.
To me, it’s not always about creating realistic images. Sometimes I love to create come commercial images, far away from reality. Fortunately, Nathalie was a great model for this kind of concepts, because of her flawless skin, good facial features and long blonde hair. That makes it a lot easier to me to create a visually appealing image directly in camera by only using a special way of placing and flagging the lights. That way, a lot less retouching is needed. And, there’s more time to spend, so we decided to push it a little bit further. 😉
There will be more of Nathalie here in the future, so stay tuned!