Rembrandt Lighting

Rembrandt Lighting

In this Studio Session we adjusted our lighting to make a Rembrandt effect. Although not perfect, this demonstrates what the Master Rembrandt perfected in his art and what continues to be one of the favourite techniques in Studio Portrait Photography! Large soft box to left at about 45 degrees. Then one instructs the model to turn her nose towards the light until you get the apple on the opposing cheek just slightly lit up.  Now a bit about The Master’s technique!

Rembrandt lighting is a lighting technique that is often used in Studio Portrait Photography. It can be achieved using one light and a reflector, or two lights, and is popular because it is capable of producing images which appear both natural and compelling with a minimum of equipment. Rembrandt lighting is characterized by an illuminated triangle under the eye of the subject, on the less illuminated side of the face. It is named for the Dutch painter Rembrandt, who often used this type of lighting. Amazing how he saw this with just brush, paint and light!

Normally, the key light is placed high and to one side at the front, and the fill light or a reflector is placed half-height and on the other side at the front, set to about half the power of the key light, with the subject, if facing at an angle to the camera, with the key light illuminating the far side of the face.

The key in Rembrandt lighting is creating the triangle or diamond shape of light underneath the eye. One side of the face is lit well from the main light source while the other side of the face uses the interaction of shadows and light, also known as chiaroscuro, to create this geometric form on the face.The triangle should be no longer than the nose and no wider than the eye. This technique may be achieved subtly or very dramatically by altering the distance between subject and lights and relative strengths of main and fill lights. Here we used a large soft box – yu can tell by the “catch lights” in the model’s eye!They are large, square and to the left – this is how Photographers often figure our how other have lit of their shoots! Cool, eh? It’s all in the eyes of the model.


8 responses

  1. Some rly nice shoot , amazing play of light and shade

    November 18, 2011 at 5:33 am

  2. victoriaaphotography

    Stunning lighting. Easy to see that you’re not just a photographer – you have the vision of a highly creative artist.

    November 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm

  3. Beautiful photo. Thank you for sharing your secrets so I can learn from you.

    December 2, 2011 at 5:06 pm

  4. sam

    left eye is completely dark…otherwise good photo…

    December 11, 2011 at 2:14 am

  5. Incredible…

    December 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm

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