High Contrast Photography Tutorial – Taking The Picture

This is an Aerial view of the shoot.
I like to use a black background. This way the shadows on the subject get lost in the background making the overall photo very dark.

Place the subject about 2 feet from the wall. I do this to lessen the amount of shadows on the background cast from the lights.

Feel free to play with your distance to find what fits for you.

I like to use one light for these type of photos.
Place your light about a foot away from the subject. I mean the actual bulb not the light stand.
Put your light directly to the left or right side of the subject ( it doesn’t really matter, up to you )
I like to use bare bulbs no soft boxes. A bare bulb will have better contrast and give us the harshness we are looking for.
After setting up the light you also want to make sure it is about 3 inches above the focal point of the subject ( what the focus of the picture is; eyes, necklace, bracelet, ect. ).

*Remember while you are shooting play with the light. Moving the light in front of the subject will put more light on it. Moving the light behind the subject will subtract light from it, making it more dramatic.

Place camera in front of the subject. I like to use a tripod and a remote.
Place a screen diagonal from the camera, using it to block the light from the camera. This helps so you don’t get any unwanted light in the lens and helps maintain the black. The screen could be piece of cardboard, a box, anything that helps block the light from the camera.

The final step is to play with your settings. I like to use the Manual mode on my camera and change the ISO speed and Shutter speeds. Again play around to see what you seem to like but I usually do ISO of 800 with a Shutter speed of 1/40.

Here is the end result that I took during this shoot.

In the next tutorial I will go over editing this photo in Photoshop, to make it high contrast.

Here is the link to the next tutorial : High Contrast Photography Tutorial – Photoshop Work

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