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Shooting a High Contrast Split Background Portrait by Jeff Carpenter

7/12/2022 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments


Today, V-Flat World is gonna light it like Nashville-based photographer Jeff Carpenter and model, Caroline. Let’s step into Jeff’s studio as he crafts a high contrast, split background portrait with sci-fi vibes and a three-light setup.

To create a split backdrop going from black to white, he used a five-foot octabox with a black V-Flat covering the front half of the octa. A gridded beauty dish provided the key light to camera left “creating either split light or Rembrandt lighting depending on where her face is.”

If you’re new to lighting: the key light is the main light for the scene. In today’s example, it’s the gridded beauty dish lighting Caroline’s face and shirt. Grids are basically fancy flags for your softbox. In this lighting setup, Jeff is using the grid to direct the light toward Caroline and keep it from spilling onto the black backdrop behind her.

After testing the scene with just the five-foot background octa and the beauty dish, a third light was needed to pop Caroline’s right side off the dark backdrop. Outfitted in a black, long-sleeved shirt, her right side blended into the shadows of the black V-Flat behind her.

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About Jeff Carpenter:

Readylight Media got its start in 2011 when owner and operator, Jeff Carpenter, decided to take the jump from hobbiest to professional.  He started small, with special event photography and photo booths but soon after made the jump into portrait photography and event video production. Let's Get Connected: | Instagram

Text, image and video via V-Flat World |