Dramatic Lighting

As you may have guessed, I’ve been studying lighting for photography.  Backlighting, haze, natural light, etc.  The other day I wanted to experiment with “dramatic lighting”.  I wanted some great black and white images and thought dramatic lighting would be a good place to start :)

I took Emma into the middle room, opened the curtains to our big window, and turned off all of the lights.  From there I was able to expose for her face next to the window where the sun shone which created a heavily underexposed background… perfect for black and white photos :)

I used my trusty 50mm 1.8 lens (it’s my favorite for portraits).  Prepare yourself for some super close ups!


She wasn’t really sad, but she’s a good little model giving me a serious face :)





Looking so melancholy for her mama.  I know it’s a little distracting, but I love the reflection of the window light on the couch.


This is my favorite of the bunch!  I sat on the back of the couch so I could shoot from up above.


Towards the end I let her show her true feelings :)


Then I was able to snag this one of Henry as he walked by.  It was fortuitous that he turned to face the light at just the right time!  I think he was upset because one of his brothers had a toy he wanted.


Not to be ignored, Spencer and Jack begged to be included in the picture taking :)  You can see Henry watching Lucy while she practices piano in the background :)


I’m glad I have so many models to choose from… because they are not always this cooperative :)


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Eve says:

    Courtney – what time of the day it was?


    1. Hey Eve, it’s about 5:40 PM with these shots. I believe it is a south facing window with the light diffused by the trees. I get some pretty hard light in the mid-morning from that window, but it’s pretty soft in the evening :)


  2. Eve says:

    Thank you! :) Very nice shots! You did an impressive job!

    I will try to do the same and show you what I would get. This is a nice hobby you have! I did a little bit of photography a while back and then got distracted by a job I had last year tutoring; forgot even to take milestone photos of my kids! :( I don’t want to do it for living, but as a hobby it’s a great one to take such nice shots of the kids.


    1. Thank you! I made sure to expose for the bright side of her face (which was pretty bright), that made everything in the background shadow :) You can see by the last photo how bright the room really was!


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