Tuesday’s Tip: Dark Contrast Portrait

How to Achieve a Portrait with Dark Contrast

by Angela Healy of Linabell Photography

I used natural light with this image and placed him further away from the window to achieve a more dramatic shadow behind him. I didn’t use a reflector, as I wanted there to be a dark shadow and no fill light, but I had him angled enough towards the window that I would have light in both eyes.
I had a dark background also that faded out when I shot, and he was placed far enough away from there that the camera wasn’t picking any of that up.

Camera Settings:

50mm 1.4


Setup Diagram:

Editing Steps:

In ACR, I brought down the exposure some, as I had overexposed the highlights. I also bumped up the brightness to about 55 to make the skin a little brighter, and adjusted the contrast to +30 and the clarity to 20. In Photoshop, I added a Levels layer and brought the darks a little darker also, to achieve the blacked out background:)
And voila!

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Natalie - August 24, 2011 - 11:49 pm

Absolutely loving this, honestly. The end result looks gorgeous and very natural, and how can you not gush over those green eyes and the freckles?! Great work. :)

Pamela Wyatt - August 25, 2011 - 7:58 am

Thanks for the info! I loved all of your photos in the previous post, but this one intrigued me because it was so different!!

stacie - August 25, 2011 - 11:50 am

love this…thank you!

Amber - August 26, 2011 - 6:08 pm

Hello! I didn’t know you had tips on here? You seriously rock and I adore your site!!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3

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