There are lots of ways to light a nude subject but in this particular shoot, I experimented with low key lighting. Low key light is characterized by predominantly dark areas than light. It is also interchangeably referred to as mood lighting where the light is used to illuminate the subject to evoke a certain mood or emotion.
When we say low key lighting, it doesn't mean that we have to underexpose the image. It is merely selecting a certain portion of the image where we choose to apply the light. In the first two photos I sampled, the light was placed overhead with the strobe set at half power to achieve a butterfly effect, meaning the light will taper down below the subject illuminating only a certain portion of the subject which in this case is the nude woman's breast and facial contours.
Low key lighting has always been a popular choice when lighting a nude subject. It is characterized by dark tones and minimal lighting to expose only a part of the subject while avoiding lighting up the background. In the last two photos I sampled, in addition to the main key light placed on top of the model, I used accent light which is either placed on the left side or on the floor beamed towards the model. The efect is a more illuminated subect but at the same time avoiding the extra lighting to strike on the dark background.
For credits on this shoot, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Zette who, graciously and without hesitation, accepted my invitation to shoot her in birthday suit. Likewise to Pam D. for making that body art on Zette.