April 1, 2012

A Little Bit of a Rembrandt Wanna-Be

Over the past couple of weeks in one of my classes we have been discussing, learning about and practising rembrandt lighting. Rembrandt lighting is a fairly simply lighting set-up that uses one key light and usually a reflector. This lighting style lights up half of the face while placing the other half in shadow save for a triangle of light underneath the eye. Here's one of my first attempts at rembrandt lighting in the studio. Thanks to the awesome Miss M for being my model.

 Rembrandt lighting is unsurprisingly named for the Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (how fantastic is his middle name??!!? Imagine trying to say that one to a voice automated system.) The painter often used this technique to give his subjects form, depth and definition. Here's a self-portrait he painted which demonstrates the lighting style perfectly:

See that little triangle of light underneath his eye on the shadow side of his face? That's rembrandt lighting at its finest. Man oh man could that guy paint or what?!?

While more difficult it is possible to implement this lighting style outdoors using the sun as your key light. You just need to get a little more creative when working with the sun. The lovely Miss T proved to be my best example of rembrandt lighting outdoors. Thanks Miss T for being my model for a while!

As you can see while we are learning about photography from behind the camera we also spend a bit of time in front of the camera being models as well. If nothing else I suppose that it teaches you how to communicate exactly what you want/need from the model because you can see it from both sides.

There's a whole lot more still to come but I want to know: do you like me sharing what I've learnt and photographed in class? What would you like to see on this blog? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Until next time I hope your weekend has been restful!



  1. Hey Tafline :) I really enjoyed this post, thanks for sharing about Rembrandt Lighting (I had no idea it even had it's own name!) What are you doing on the Easter weekend?

    1. Hi Jen! Thanks for the feedback and thanks for stopping by my blog. I have a feeling this blog may partly become me sharing what I learn in class. Ha ha ha. I'm not up to much this Easter. What about you?