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Really not complicated. You find a situation where the subject is lit with hard, low light, but where the background is shade. Usually something like six or seven stop difference between the light and shade, and then push it a bit further with levels. In this tennis shot the light looks perpendicular to the lens axis, and my guess is that there is something casing big shadows off to the right of the photographer. You can see the light falling off radically as you go down the player's body and towards the ground. I think the art history technical term is chiaroscuro, which means light-dark.