I’ve always wanted to shoot in the style of the classics.
The Hollywood black and whites had their own flare for the dramatic. It’s actually not hard to recreate. Light isn’t any different than it was in the 40′s. Get a model with the right hair style and toss some harsh lighting her way and you will be amazed at what you get.
For this shot I used an 85mm f/1.8 USM lens on a Canon 7D. 1/200 sec @ f/10 and ISO 100
Lighting comprised of 3 flashes and a black paper backdrop.
One flash pointed slightly down on her face to give some shadow but not to much under her nose. To high and her eyes would start to darken so watch for that. Another light was behind her pointed at her hair and back. Neither of these lights had anything other than the basic can on them. No modifiers of any kind and they were about 3 feet from her.
A 3rd light had a can and barn doors on it and it was pointed at the black paper backdrop to give that lighted wall effect. The idea is to give enough contrast to outline her head well. The barn door was to keep that light from slipping onto her. Again, no jells or modifiers were used. The lighting in vintage photos is rather harsh and that alone gives it a bit of an edgy feel.
In post production I used Lightroom to adjust the levels of white and black and shadows to fine tune it a bit. It was actually very close already. Then I ran a vintage filter on it from the NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 and of course tweaked it a bit more. When any photo is done I use the basic settings in Lightroom to do any final adjustments to the exposure to make it exactly how I want it to be.
As always…shoot, play, and learn…
Credits: A very special thinks goes to the talented Michelle Lynn Minnick (model) and Vanessa Ripoyla (MU and Hair)