The concept that I can turn a normal looking room into a completely black photograph with the right choice of camera settings, and then design the light direction, amounts, quality, etc. all to my liking was a revelation to me. Total freedom, total control - at my fingertips!
But one interesting off-shoot of that is whatever parts of the frame that I do not light with flash(es) will be, well... black. As in zero information, digitally. So while the flash-lit parts of someone lit with what is interesting-looking light to me (i.e. has shadows!) will look fine, the dark (shadow) side of them will be very dark. That is fine if it is what I want, like in the night-time shot here, where I wanted to convey a little bit of privacy between them.
The question then becomes, if I don't want completely black shadows, what to do with the dark side? Here are two of the many choices I'm learning about.
First a question: Which do you like better and why?
Option 1: Just control how dark the dark side of his face is. This was done with a second flash right behind the camera, "fill" lighting whatever the camera sees from it's perspective, but lighting it dimly, about 2 stops underexposed from the main light on his face, similar to what I did here.
Option 2: Let the dark side of his face gradually get very dark, then light the darkest edge of it to distinguish it from the background. This was done with a "rim" light from behind and off to camera left, aimed almost back at the camera, to glance off the side of his face.
There is no right answer, just lots of choices and personal preferences to learn about. But then again, there is no dark side to my brother Greg anyway.