I've been wondering, for quite a while now, how to replicate this kind of "glowing" underexposed look when lighting frontal.
It's pretty easy to obtain this effect when it's a rim light like here (event though it's a day scene you get the idea)
You have the specular reflection of the source when that source is placed correctly in direct reflection on the portion of the face you want to enhance.
If you have a large white surface (even passive reflection) it works like a charm.
I find it quite impossible to obtain when you want to have this kind of effect coming from the camera, with a low key.
The ambient light caused by the source is usually killing the specular reflections I want. (Basically I only want the specular reflections on the face not the diffused reflection)
When analysing the first 2 images (from the Turkish movie "Three Monkeys") the source is exactly the opposite as what I'd do in rim light, it's a small hard light.
On the third image (from a teaser of "Pompeii" coming out soon) it's a much softer source (probably a chimera). It's not quite frontal and much less underexposed but there is still that reflective quality to it.
So small or large sources are not relevant here, there is no hard rule I assume.
I'm sure one of the key for obtaining this effect is the make up, but despite my various attempts to obtain this with the various make up artists I worked with, I've never managed to obtain that quality... and I guess make up is not all there is to it.
I'm looking for any advices and tips from any of you guys to replicate this look... how would you do it ?
Type of source, distance, exposure, anything...
I think it's a very interesting way to keep a low key image with the face structure from the character very present still, and I'd love to use this on my next project.
Thanks for your help