Dark mood photography uses the Chiaroscuro technique. It is an Italian term referring to the contrast between shadow and light. It can be found, e.g., in Caravaggio’s paintings. To master this technique in photography, we need to control the light. It consists in blocking the light where we do not want it to reach, and we only let the light in the place where we want it to illuminate our hero.
For photos pastel de nata and without, I used the same setting. I blocked out the light from the back and the right side 100%. I used two foams on the left side to make space between them for the light coming in from the left side of the balcony window.
Despite the cloudy day, I set the ISO to 80. I took the photo from a tripod so I could afford it.
Below is a diagram of setting dark mood photos. To block the light, I used a dark background or black foam, which can be purchased in various sizes and thicknesses in art stores.
I took the photo on a cloudy day by the balcony window, which acted as a softbox, softening the extra light. The softbox was a double because the first was the clouds.
Dark mood photography is not difficult; you need to remember the basic assumption that the key is not that the photo should be dark but that there should be appropriate contrast between the photo’s subject and the other elements.