We now begin to get interesting. It is now time to get creative with light modifiers. The amount, direction and range of light can be controlled by various devices, but we particularly enjoy using snoots and barn-doors. Snoots are conical devices that essentially create a spotlight on the subject. Barn-doors are modifiers that have flaps on the front which can be opened or closed to control the direction of the light. Both attachments can be used to create interesting effects with the model.
The first thing that you notice about this shot is that it is generally much darker than the others. When you study it, however, you will see that the model’s face is properly lit, and it is the background that is darker. The human eye is drawn to the lighter parts of a photo, and so in this case the viewer will focus on the face and pay little attention to the rest of the image. The light is controlled with a barn-door to prevent “spillage” and as a result the surrounding area is too dark to distract the eye.
Again, by studying the eye, you will see from the catchlight that the light is to the right of the shot. The catchlight is much smaller than previous examples, which confirms that a modifier has been used to restrict and direct the beam.
Photographers often use a snoot to light a subject’s hair. This can be done as a directional backlight, but the snoot is capable of so much more. Like everything else in the studio, experiment with different ideas and see which effects you like.