“How did you do that?” number 2 Series on Beauty Photography by Neil Snape

A fun picture revisited. Originally thought to be better in colour, yet is splendid in B&W. The carbon tones are all LightRoom settings on top of Canon CR2 raw files.

Here’s how!


from raw to toned B&W


This one involves two lights for the subject, and two lights for the background and two large poly boards between the background and subject.

There is a main light is a Picolite Fresnel, about 1 metre from the subject high and to the right pointed down. This can clearly be seen in the screen capture for the relative placement, and height which is about 50º from the horizon.

200% close up for light placement



The second and fill , a bit mixed with the main light is a P65 (22cm bowl) with 4 way  barn door and a Tough Rolux scrim mounted in the barn doors frame. It is just above centre and pretty much straight, also seen in the eyes. The mix of light in this case is really two main lights doing different things. Yet, one has to always consider one light to be “the sun” , so it is biased towards the hard light on the face.

Background lights are my trusty huge strip lights 150x40cm both turned towards each other to make for an even light.

Two large poly boards painted black on one side both close to the subject to do two things, 1) avoid background light striking the subject directly, 2) stop light from reflecting, bouncing around to maintain decent shadow depth.


See pictures for settings.

The process is basically as follows:
Convert from colour to B&W, add some dodge and burn with the brush in the develop tool.

from clr to BW settings in LR



Send to Photoshop to fix things like the crack in the wall, any other small problems.

Back in Lightroom, make a virtual copy, and tone it , add some final dodge and burn. Also some changes in exposure, brightness are fun to play with at this time on a finished PSD.   The reason you don’t want to work on a toned BW in Photoshop is any clone stamping and curves etc. are all based on a colour model that will make holes in the image where you’re not expecting it to happen. If in a neutral grey (rgb) image you avoid a lot of errors by editing first in grey , then toning only the final image.

toning and further corrections such as D&B, local contrast, ex




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2 thoughts on ““How did you do that?” number 2 Series on Beauty Photography by Neil Snape”

  1. Just what a great feeling it can be find out the way most of us believe is without a doubt right right now. I really hope that I could someday find peace like you have.

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