Key-Shifted Beauty Light

About this tutorial

This shot is a classic beauty shot using minimal lighting and homemade modifiers. The image utilizes the concept of “key-shifting” to control the contrast of the image – specifically, it uses subtractive contrast control. The diffused highlight on the image is also slightly over-exposed and this, combined with the soft, surround lighting, meant that I did not have to do any retouching on her skin (I did do a bit of retouching on her hands and neck, but not on her face). Photoshop played a fairly small role in this image.

Topics covered in this tutorial:
  • Blowing out diffused highlights to create porcelain skin.
  • Using handmade modifiers.
  • Using subtractive contrast control (or key shifting) in studio to control contrast.
  • Using light fall-off to create background gradations.
  • Using comparative ratios to set your background tones.
  • Using Photoshop to remove a ring and repair fabric edges.
  • Retouching skin wrinkles.
  • Retouching eyes.
  • Advantages and disadvantages to using Photoshop on blowing your diffused highlights.
All images, video and written content of this tutorial © Greg Blue Photography. Images, video and written content may not be used, copied or republished in any way without the express written permission of Greg Blue Photography.


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