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How to Create Dramatic Black and White Portraits With Better Lighting

Good black and white portraits are timeless and will always be in style, but they demand a different approach than color portraits. This fantastic video tutorial will show you a few multi-light setups for shooting compelling black and white portraits with dramatic contrast.

Coming to you from John Gress, this awesome video tutorial will show you three variations on the same multi-light setup to create dramatic and contrasty black and white portraits. While I am shooting (particularly if I know I will be converting the final image to black and white), I like to switch my viewfinder to monochrome, as this makes it far easier to visualize the end result. Even if you are shooting in color, it is a great way to focus on reading the light. Almost any modern mirrorless camera will allow you to do this; simply switch to the monochrome picture profile (or your brand's equivalent mode). If you are shooting in raw, you will still have the full color image, so don't worry! Check out the video above for the full rundown from Gress.

If you would like to continue learning about lighting for portraits, be sure to take a look at "Illuminating The Face: Lighting for Headshots and Portraits With Peter Hurley!"

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1 Comment

Rex Larsen's picture

John Gress is very talented, has good instincts, and is a really great guy.