For my T&P project No Daylight I’m taking portraits using very faint light to create a feeling of person covered by darkness and charmed by light. Here are my first test shoots:
To make the images look dark enough I underexposed them. But in this conditions it wasn’t enough to lit the face, so I made a snood out of soft plastic for my speedlight, placed a diffuser inside the snood and pointed it towards the face.
To compare, here is one image I took without the speedlight, the face is hardly visible:
In this way I fulfilled the goal to take a portrait in the faint light conditions. In most cases the flash isn’t noticeable, however it makes big difference in picking out the person.
I must admit that it’s complicated to expose so dark images correctly. On one hand I want photographs to be usable (with visible subject), on the other hand I want to keep them underexposed to maintain the sense of darkness. Here is an article telling why a built-in camera meter can give wrong readings and how to use a handheld light meter in such conditions: Metering at Night.
Next I’m going to think of more light sources that produce low light. I also have to come up with an idea for narrative to join upcoming photographs together.