This is a place to ask any questions concerning photography which I will do my best to answer.
June 19, 2010
It’s killing me… one of your friends mentioned ‘black bounce’when commenting on your photo… what is this? It looks great but HOW? 🙂
Thanks Katheryn, that’s a good question. Normally bounced light is bounced off a white reflector. White card, a large white polystyrene sheet or a white umbrella. ‘Black bounce’ is the opposite, or more truly, light denied. Many moons ago I always preferred working in a black walled studio, as it is easier to add light than take it away and a white studio tends to scatter light all over the place and it fills in the shadows. I like dark shadows, particularly in black and white so I want to keep them dark.
Rather strangely, my wife would not let me paint the walls and ceiling of the front room black, so lately I have been forced to improvise. I now achieve the effect I want by rigging up an aluminium garden frame designed for fruit netting, and draping 48 inch wide black material (thanks ebay) right over it making a sort of black tent.
I can sit my subject deep inside this dark tent and then just add light to the front. Because of the black, no stray light is reflected onto the subject, so I get dark shadows. In effect ‘black bounce’. One guy commenting on one of my photos described it rather well. ‘Painting with shadows’ – I couldn’t have put it better!
I have written an article about Lighting The Head Shot which describes in more detail the benefits of black walls and ceiling in a studio.
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