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Better Black & Whites | Using A UV Attachment To Create Striking Black & White Images Like You Never Have Before

By Brittany Smith on November 7th 2017

Ultraviolet lighting attachments were first developed with forensics and scientific photography in mind. The UV filter eliminates nearly all of the light emitted by the strobe and produces a result reminiscent of a blacklight. Photographers haveembraced the creative possibilities from everyday materials that fluoresce and created incredible works of art.

UV light is also a worthy ally when it comes to creating clean and crisp whites in black and white photography. Karl Taylor and Urs Recher demonstrate how to photograph white clothing on a white background. It’s shooting on white like you may not have thought of before, and with outstanding results.

*Check out our Broncolor reviews and lighting set-ups:

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The lighting used is an elaborate three light setup with black v-flats and black cloth to absorb any light spill and produce a very controlled light. The first light is the background light and it is used to white out the background. The second light is equipped with a softbox to serve as a soft backlight and the third light has the UV attachment to whiten the undergarments.

Taylor and Recher begin by first exposing for the background with the model nearly silhouetted against it. The softbox is placed at an angle similar to the model’s body and provides a very nice edge light. The UV light needs a lot of light as it absorbs almost all of the other light and the pack is set to the highest power. The UV light will only affect the white clothing and will not add any extra light to the model’s body.

White on white is a very popular theme in fashion photography. Incorporating a UV modifier in black and white photography will produce brighter whites that pop against an already bright background.

Click here for more lighting tips.

Brittany is a fashion and beauty photographer who works between NYC, Montana and LA. She photographs the way she has always wanted to feel and believes in the power of raw simplicity. When not behind a camera she can usually be found at a local coffeeshop, teaching fitness classes at the YMCA, or baking something fabulous in the kitchen.
Instagram: @brittanysmithphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Konrad Sarnowski

    UV is fun, especially when you can flash it :)

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