I am primarily a natural light photographer but have begun to work more with other lighting. It is a learning experience but after getting over the initial fear of flash, some classes, working with a mentor and experience…I can now say that I’ve actually grown to really like working with one light source off camera (as seen here); it gives portraits a bit of a moody kick. One light means you get varied results based upon where you place the light; high or low, left or right, in front or even behind.
The results look great in color but they also lend themselves very well to converting to black and white, sepia, and just about any other combination of not quite full color. And I must admit that working with one light is easier in some ways (and easier to afford and lug around) than having a full portrait light set. In the case of these photos from a recent portrait shoot, a hair light was added. Strictly optional but we decided to go with it to brighten her dark hair some. My editing process was first to use some portrait skin softening presets before converting to the various monochrome edits shown here.
The first image was converted using a black and white gradient map but I restored just a bit of the color to the image by lowering the opacity. The second image uses a soft chocolate black and white action and the last image is a straight black and white conversion with the gradient map. Did I happen to mention that I really enjoy doing stylized/themed portraits?
Now that winter is knocking on our door here I will be practicing more with using one light not only on people but still life images. Who knows what I may create! So tell me, do you prefer your lighting one light or multiple or strictly natural?