I’ve really started to like hard lighting. If it works it can make portraits almost look 3D-like. If it doesn’t work it’ll be a disaster with very unpleasing shadows in the wrong place. Still worth a try.
Having mostly aimed for soft light with soft boxes and shoot-through brollies in the past, I took on the task to learn more about hard light. I wanted to create the classic “Hollywood lighting” or cinematic lighting from the 1940s that is so popular. Think Marilyn Monroe and you know what I mean.
I spent an evening doing self-portraits, just to see what the shadows looked like. My Canon Speedlite 580 EX IIs came in very handy, as they are small light sources and can be made even smaller and harder with grids and snoots from HONL, perfect for what I was looking for.
Self-portraits can be interesting and good practise, but my wife is definitely a better model, so I asked her to sit in for a few shots. I think we’re both pretty pleased with the result.