Lighting Black On Black

This is a shot I took a couple months ago for a training video I was shooting. I thought shooting the black dress on the black background would have a lot of impact. The key when shooting a black object on a black background is to create separation from the background. The best way to create separation from the background is creating highlights on the black dress. This was accomplished by placing two edge lights behind the model at a 45 degree angle. See lighting diagram below.


Main light – 4′ x 6′ softbox
Fill – 4′ x 6′ silver reflector
Edge lights – 1′ x 4′ soft box


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6 thoughts on “Lighting Black On Black

  1. Hi Mike – great shot. I found this by doing a search for Black on Black models. I attempted to duplicate this shot with some teenagers going to a homecoming dance. I could not get the look. I have a 72in silver reflector that just didn’t get the light into the face like you have. Can you give me an idea on the distance from the model to the reflector? I can only assume it was too far back in my test. I wound up using a 30deg beauty dish to light the face.