Glass artist and painter, Ivan, enjoys a cup of coffee. I used two medium sized softboxes and a flash with a honey comb to rim light the black beret so that it separated from the black background.
You've heard it so many times before. Photography is about light. It seems obvious but I still see photography enthusiasts obsessing about cameras and equipment rather than concentrating on the one simple element they can use to improve their pictures - lighting.
Yes, studio flash costs a fair amount but as the Strobists demonstrate you can use off camera flash and get amazing effects. Light modification devices abound, anything from a piece of foam to a Tupperware container will do. I've seen fabulous portraits created with just one naked light bulb. Then there are thousands of ways to modify daylight from using reflectors to black panels that absorb light (subtractive lighting).
It's not equipment that is a limitation, it is rather a lack of imagination and creativity. So I urge, think about light not camera equipment.
To see some more examples of how I have used light click here (especially the mono portraits portfolio).