The Beauty Dish from Profoto (a white Softlight Reflector) must be the best light modifier for strong portraits in my opinion. But it takes either great make up or perfect skin (or, in this case, a model not afraid of showing every wrinkle). Used like this, you only need one light for a nice portrait.
This portrait uses the same studio lighting setup as the previous portrait in colour, but this time I got a happy face and converted it to black and white.
One light beauty dish setup diagram
Standing in front of a white paper background and using only one light at the lowest possible setting (Profoto AcuteB 600R), I could use an aperture of f/2.8 which made the white background light grey and a relatively shallow depth-of-field. Just enough to blur the head contours a bit and put the focus in the center of his face.
B&W conversion and contrast enhancements
Compared to the portrait in colour, this has the same settings in Lightroom except for the conversion to black and white. But the conversion alone makes the light appear a little bit harsher, which I also enhanced by adding an adjustment layer with the Gradient Map-filter and lowered the opacity to around 50 or 60%, and set the blend mode to Soft Light.
To make the effect of the short DOF stronger, I copied the image layer, ran the High Pass filter, switched the blend mode to Soft Light and lowered the opacity until the effect felt right. To that layer, I added a layer mask and masked out the parts of the portrait that were already out of focus with a soft edged brush.
I liked his skin texture as it is, so nothing more is done to this portrait in terms of retouching, just removed a few spots of dust.
For a harder light, the Profoto Magnum also creates great portraits.