As we continue to become a bit more creative with the lighting set-up, let us introduce a formula that works very well for artistic shots, especially topless or nude shots. This again involves the use of one light, with a strip diffuser of 120cm x 30cm. The light is positioned behind the model at an angle of approximately 30 degrees. The model turns slightly to the direction of the light. As a result, the side of the face and body is covered by the light, while the majority is in strong shadow. This set-up produces a harsh light as the source light “bends” around the model and leaves a very harsh edge, and so is not suitable for glamour work, but it does introduce an element of intrigue and mystery into the photo.
You will note that there is no catchlight in the eye – the light is behind and so does not reflect in the eye – and so it is not so easy to decipher the set-up. Be aware of the pattern of light and shadow and that will help to solve the puzzle.
You can boost the light to a very high output and shoot with a small aperture, which can give a halo effect around the model (we have not done it here as it is not a style that lends itself to photographing beautiful ladies). Again, like everything else, experiment until you find a style that you like and that suits your model.