Step-by-step Create dramatic shadows
1 Arrange your lighting setup
Whether you’re using continuous home lighting or a more pro setup with a flash, you’ll need to arrange your lights in a similar way. This technique relies heavily on dramatic lighting, using one single light source that you can direct anywhere across the body. You may want to try sidelighting to produce heavy shadows that create a sense of mystery. Alternatively, you could use an overhead light such as in the photo opposite. This will mimic a bright midday sun that illuminates the peaks while casting the valleys into shadow.
2 Bounce the light
You only need one light for this technique, but if you feel that your images are looking a little unevenly lit then you may want to lift the shadows a little bit. To do this without adding a second light into the equation, simply use a reflector. You can easily find double-sided reflectors online that have both a white and a silver side. If you think that your shot needs a lot of adjustment, then use the silver side, as it’s more reflective. If you’re without a reflector you could also use a sheet of white card instead.
3 Light your background
Your model’s body is undoubtedly the star of this show, however don’t forget that your backdrop is important as well. If you want to mimic a dramatic mountainscape, then you’ll need to think about how to light the background. You may want to introduce a light to completely illuminate the wall, or alternatively you can leave it cast in darkness. Either way, you’ll have a neutral background against which you can showcase your model’s body. Creating a graduated light on your background instead will mimic a sky at sunset.