Manfred Mueller  

Cristiana by Manfred Mueller

December 2019 - Cristiana

About the Image(s)

This is a studio shot of Cristiana Bodnariuc, a model I have worked with before. She generally models wearing very feminine apparel and I wanted to try a more "gritty" look, so I had her wear a very old (1970s?) Harley-Davidson motorcycle jacket.

I shot her against black seamless paper background. The key light is a single large octabox and there is no fill light. I used two strip boxes on either side of Cristiana as rim lights to separate the black outfit from the background. There was virtually no retouching done to the image.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
9 comments posted

Jim Hooper   Jim Hooper
Secondly, I was looking for something to serve as a contrast to the black on black. Maybe a belt with a small silver buckle would give your eye something to circle around to. Just a thought.   Posted: 12/06/2019 22:41:00
Manfred Mueller   Manfred Mueller
I wouldn't move in that direction because I want the viewer's eye to go to the model's face. Adding a second bright spot would detract from that intent and had it been there, I would have cloned it out of the image.   Posted: 12/07/2019 09:47:56

Jim Hooper   Jim Hooper
Nice capture. Black on black can be tricky to get separation but your strip lights have done the job well without overdoing it.

Two thoughts. One, I think if you raised your key just a touch higher, the shadow falling off the nose would point downward a little bit for that Rembrandt look.   Posted: 12/06/2019 22:41:38
Manfred Mueller   Manfred Mueller
I feel that Rembrandt lighting would be too dramatic for this model. I'm not generally a fan of that particular lighting style for woman or children. I find it can be very effective when used with men, especially with higher lighting ratios. Generally shots of women are not as effective with high ratio lighting. That being said, I have used it with female athletes and it can be effective in that type of situation. I suspect shots of women in non-traditional roles might be effective in high ratio lighting, like Rembrandt lighting, as well.

In this shot I used a large octabox as a single light source to ensure I got enough light wrap around the far side of the face so that I did not need a fill light. Cristiana's face shape works well with broad lighting; that is not something that one can do with many models.   Posted: 12/07/2019 09:55:12

Donna Paul   Donna Paul
I feel that you got what you were going for and it worked well. Nice job!
Only one thing; the finger behind her head draws my eye and I'm not sure if it should be there.   Posted: 12/10/2019 15:06:54

Cheryl Dubois   Cheryl Dubois
Love the lighting and I agree that your subject looks fine with broad lighting.   Posted: 12/16/2019 03:32:25

Salvador Atance   Salvador Atance
Very good portrait, Manfred. You know I like to dress the studio portraits, because I think it's an improvement. This is my contribution, with a Harley motorcycle.   Posted: 12/22/2019 11:57:20
Comment Image
Manfred Mueller   Manfred Mueller
Yes, I have done this type of work as well, but don't generally do so because I am not generally happy with the results.

When I do, I generally shoot on a white background to make extracting the image easier and more natural looking. The reason I shot this as a black on black is that it is a technique that is generally not well done and the subject is not well separated from the background.
  Posted: 12/23/2019 06:24:19

Your processing is very natural, but sufficient. There is just enough rim lighting to separate her clothing from the background. The same can be said of her hair as there are nice highlights on both the left and right sides. Cristiana's blond hair works especially well with the black background. Both her expression and pose are good.
  Posted: 12/27/2019 08:01:40