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Rhiannon Buckle's picture

Moody lighting for powerful portraits

For any studio photographers out there, who else uses more dramatic lighting to create more of an atmosphere in their images?

I tend to be quite experimental with my lighting and cover a variety of styles and poses to get the best out of the dog.
Maximus was this humongous but incredibly soft and gentle giant. I wanted to show off the power and coat of the German Shepherd breed by positioning my light to create more atmosphere.

Using two strip lights either side of the dogs I was able to highlight the fair hair from the ears and outline the body shape whilst capturing a depth of shadow that accentuated the shape of his face. The background is a Crimson paper roll but allowing a bit of space between the background and subject the light bled less so I managed to get a deeper Burgundy Red with a subtle vignette.

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Geoffrey Gilson's picture

Super nice results, i have very little experience in studio shoots but i'm definitely looking at the HW to get started :-) Hope i can get such amazing results!!! Are the images a bit desat or is the dog really that greyish, i like it a lot :-) He looks like a massive good boy :-)

Rhiannon Buckle's picture

Thanks!! Definitely be experimental with lighting, not always positioning it right in front of the subject. You can get some incredible result by side lighting! :D

My editing is fairly uncomplicated.. this is all in the power of the light and how it was shot in camera. If anything I added a bit of extra punch with a nice curve and most of the work was in the soft vignette in the background.. just helped emphasise it in post-production. Bit of extra clarity and sharpening on the fur and voila!

Mona Walsh's picture

Really beautiful images!!