I’ve been planning to work on some b/w portraits for a while now and this is the first of many to come. This menacing looking fellow is one of my older brothers, and in real life he’s a super friendly software developer (aka computer nerd), but that’s one of the reasons I fell in love with lighting, you can manipulate it to create any mood you want, and in this case I decided to go with ‘thug’.
Here is the lighting setup I used. Three lights all with gridded modifiers to control light spill. The background was a floor mat draped over a piece of wood so that the black underside was facing the camera, pure ghetto. The on-axis fill is what makes this photo work, as there is just enough light to bring out some detail in the heavy shadow area which would have otherwise gone completely black.