Quote Originally Posted by dianna
I love everything about this look from the shallow DOF to the lighting. With such a shallow depth of field, I'm guessing that the photographer used modeling lights or some other constant light source and a wide aperture or large format camera. I would be grateful for any tips on how to achieve this look (BTW I don't own a set of studio strobes and don't have an interest in using them).
Hi Dianna,

First, here are my observations about this portrait:
Classic Rembrandt lighting
Main : medium-high, right, undiffused –probably a wide-diameter tungsten fresnel
Backlights : right and left kickers evidenced by reflection in hair and side of forehead and extreme edge of jowl
Fill : low left, probably at head level as evidenced by catchlight and shadow on chin from finger .. Probably not very near lens as evidenced by canyon-shadows between hands, under chin
Background : flood – maybe Mole Softlites
Make-up : finished with a little coldcream as evidence by focused highlights on nose annd cheeks
Lens : probably longer than normal, close-up, f wide
Film : probably ortho as evidenced by dark lips
There is as always for these type of portraits, quite heavy pencil retouching, and this portrait is a master example. I do not think a vignetter was used
and I do not notice any flagging on the lighting (though there may be, especially on such a well done portrait).

To do the same today, just use the same materials and technique (you have several good answers, above particularly regarding retouching. Yes, you can "get away with" smaller format and other substitutions, but if you really want the same look, the solution is simple: do the same thing!

One difference: Today I use all Dedo lights, as the optical efficiency of the spotlights let me work in smaller spaces and at more comfortable levels of light.

Good luck and have fun.