Low Key Lighting in the Studio – Calgary Portrait Photographer

This image was from an impromptu session with my oldest son during a break from editing.  I love shooting high key images for its clean look, but I equally love shooting low key and the drama and mood that comes with bringing shadows into play.

I didn’t use a studio backdrop for this image.  In fact, Aidan was standing in front of a shelving unit that had a pile of junk stuff on it.  And believe it or not, but this was taken on a mid-afternoon with quite a bit of afternoon light coming in courtesy of the studio’s west facing windows.  The solution was a simple one light setup.  One monolight fitted with a 20 degree grid on camera left, beside Aidan and just out of the frame.  This lit Aidan’s face with minimal spill and prevented light from hitting the background.  I shot with a very small aperture.  I had to stayed at about 1/200 sec shutter speed (sync speed) but this was fast enough to kill the ambient lighting.  With the light focused on my son’s mug, it helped take away attention from the rather distracting temporary tattoo on his hand!

It’s really fun to use (or not use) different light sources to create an image where it would otherwise not be possible if you had to rely on available light!


©2012 Joel Yana Photography

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