Going for a tough look, I decided for a dark background, and dark shadows.
The lighting set up was really simple for this - one soft-box'ed light very close to the left side, pointing straight at my face.
The close distance makes the light go from bright to dark very quickly (read why here - under positioning the light). Notice the amount of light on my left arm versus the light on the right arm.
- The right side of my face is not lit at all.
- The background is getting very little light - just enough so that you can see the shape of my head, but still dark overall. I was about 6 feet or so in front of a white wall.
Actually, my friends usually burst out laughing when they see this - I guess I'm usually smiling, so this is a new look.
The finishing touches are crossing my arms, and scowling - sort of like putting sad lyrics over a blues riff.