SET THE MOOD WITH LIGHTING
This next photo, also taken on assignment, was for an Orthopedic Clinic and the concept was arthritis in the hands. The client brought in a chair and this model. I hung my grey painted canvas background behind.
I placed a large light box on camera right at about 4:00 o’clock and created a Rembrandt light pattern. I used a large white foam core reflector on camera left and just out of frame so it would be close and bounce lots of light into her shadow side. For the background I wanted a pseudo Venetian blind highlight effect. I own a Norman Tri Light, which is a focusing spot light. It has built into it a flash tube and modeling light and a focusing lens from a slide projector.
Whatever you place in the slot of the light you can project on the wall or background. If you want a picture of mountains on the wall, you put a slide of mountains into the light, focus it, and when you fire the flash it will place that picture on the wall. I used a pattern of slits in black cardboard to create this pattern. There are several companies that make focusing spot strobes.
This portrait is an example of a low key full length portrait using a large light source where I placed an extra large light box to camera right. It was on a heavy duty stand and about 18” off the floor and vertical. I rotated it back and forth (towards the background and then away) until I had the desired effect on the background which is the dark corner and edge on the right. Remember that a box can control light throw better than an umbrella. I also placed a 4×8’ foam-core panel on camera left, just out of view, for fill. The focus effect came from using a Canon tilt shift lens.