I do not have any modern lighting equipment, but I often try to do something different with the available resources.
For this shot I used:
1. Canon Rebel T1i (EOS 500D)
2. 18-55mm kit lens
3. 1000 watt tungsten light (very old and harsh)
4. Photoshop CS3.
The lens was set to 55mm and the exposure for the shot was f/9 and 1/4se shutter, iso 100
The light I used can not be directed to a particular point and I always try to avoid a cluttered background as far as possible, but it is not 100% possible for me as you can see here I have curtains and a door frame in view. So I reach for Photoshop.
I opened the 16-bit tiff file (after converting from RAW), then duplicated that background layer twice from the layer palette so the layers palette looks like this:
background copy 2
Then I clicked the eye icon to hide the background layer and selected the background 2 layer.
With this layer active I went to Image>Adjustments>Levels and set the middle slider to a value of 0.38 (this depends on the image and may change for each one) to darken the image completely and hide the background clutter
Now I used the Eraser tool from the Tool palette with the following settings: soft brush, size 170 and opacity 29. (Again this depends on the image), and erased the portion of the face which is well lit. Then I set the brush size to 715 to erase the table to show slight reflection and once done I used merge visible to merge the visible layers.
Now to convert to black & white.
Again the same method is used, but in a different way. I duplicated the image (not the original one as this is still hidden). The layer palette now looks like this:
background copy 3
background copy 2
In the first step I select the background copy 2 layer. Hide the background copy 3 layer if you want to see the tones. And go to Image>Adjustment>Channel mixer. Select monochrome from the window that appears and preset black and white with orange filter
Now I select the background copy 3 layer and again go to image>Adjustment>Channel mixer and select monochrome and preset black and white infrared.
Again I use a soft brush of 715 size, opacity 29, (it will depend on the condition as well as your taste) to erase until I am satisfied.
For portraiture, the main part is the eyes, you can use Burn tool and the Sharpen tool to clearly define the catch light, this can give a better look to your images.
Now I drag the hidden original image (background layer) to the delete layer icon, below the layer palette and use Flatten image and save.
Here's the result: