Chiaroscuro – The use of strong contrasts between light and dark.
My most used light modifier in the past few months has been the Photek Softlighter II, but the soft and dreamy light that it produces has a certain quality and characteristic that makes it inappropriate for a certain type of lighting that I also love.
Hard, dynamic and directional lighting. The positioning of deep shadows on a face, creating an angular, masculine look. I picked up a small Elinchrom white reflective umbrella specifically for this look. This specific pattern is sometimes referred to as Rembrandt lighting or closed loop lighting, characterised by a triangle shape of light under the eye on the shadow side.
Hard light has always made me feel strength, power, intrigue and drama. Just another tool in the strobist belt but one that is surprisingly easy to achieve and so robust in its applications.