Karl wrote:
I had a hard time with this assignment.  I found so many that I liked.

!good! :) If it was easy then it'd be, uh, easy. ;)

I even thought of including Weston's pepper no 30 because the quality of light makes is so strong.  Instead, I chose a photo that I love, but is not the style I would try to copy.  This photo is by Michael Ezra and I found it on Photosig.  You may then ask, "Why did you chose it, Karl?"  I love the art of it, but I really appreciate the quality of light.  It is so masterfully done for my taste.

Ezra's stuff is beautifully lit. And, I think, fairly simply lit. I'll get to that in a second. :)

- The composition is so elegantly simple.  The model, her form, her countour and shape, and the rich shadows are the photo.

- I love photos with a deep black background, but this one works for me because of the brighter tones that the grey background brings out.

-  The pose illustrates the beauty of feminity, flexibility, and shape.

- Some argue that the model's face is covered, but that adds to the simplicity of the message of the human form.

-Finally, I love the empty space between her arched body and the fantastic shadow on the floor. 
And, in fact, it's the empty spaces that let us tell how he did it.

If you look at the shadows by her feet you can see that there are 2 shadows at her toes and her head. That's because there are basically 2 lights falling on each section of the image. You can also tell how the lighting was done by the shadows on her legs, etc. This image is very powerful and (I agree with Karl!) lovely to behold. The good news is that it's not hard to create!! You just need a gorgeously built coordinated model, and 3 lights on stands, with a sweep backdrop. ;) And you need to think up that pose! I bet that one of the hardest parts of shooting this picture was getting the model into the pose without tearing the grey paper sweep background.

For those of you who haven't worked with backgrounds much, the kind of background we're looking at here is a paper sweep (see my illustration) that curves down behind the model. It's a very cool effect when used properly, as Exra uses it. You need to be pretty
religious about keeping the sweep free of crinkles, since they will rapidly ruin the effect. I've also seen paper sweeps used with a
spray brush, to make a "spotlight spot" on the paper, to make it look as if the model is in a highlighted area.