As you know, when you bounch up into a flat white sealing, you will get an eaven destrobution of light on your subject when you do it right. If you look at the edge of my faters face, you can see that it is a lot darker than the rest of his face. This effect is a good "support" for the eye, the whey you look at the picture, your eyes dont "fall away" from the face, you keep the viewers focus in the face.
This effect would typically be reached by placing black material close to the models face on both sides, and lit by one soft light source from front.
But I dont own any studio equipment, so I have to make this effect with the aid of photoshop. I´ll try my best to explain how I did that in this photograph.
This is basically a trial and error thing. By making multiple adjustments to areas in the face until you are satisfied with the resaults. Fyrst of all, you need to be working on layers. That way your photograph will stay in good condition under the adjustment layers, even after constand changes back and forth.
I used channel mixer to convert this photo to B&W, then above that layer I made many many curve adjustment layers. I basically look at one single thing in the face while making adjustments in curves until I am satisfied. When that area is like I want it to be, I invert the layers mask so the effect of the curves layer is none. Then I select the brush tool and paint the area I want the effect to reach with the curves layers selected with about 20% opacity. This I do to every single part of the face until I am satisfied.
The key is to know when to stop. The picture must look real, you are not making a pace of art, you are simulating a type of lightning.
I'm have been a student in photography since january 2006, there we have some studio equipment. I set up a lightning the other day and placed a fellow student in front of it. I was trying to get this effect with out all the hard photoshop work, here are the resaults :