Monday, February 08, 2016

Seeing Rembrandt lighting and then creating it

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 2200, ƒ/4, 1/500
This morning while eating breakfast at Ken's House of Pancakes in Hilo, Hawaii I noticed what appeared to be a mother and daughter together. Now analyzing the photograph I know that the reason they caught my eye was the lighting on the mother's face.

It is what we call Rembrandt lighting, which is named after the famous painter known for using this lighting technique in many of his paintings.

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There is a little triangle of light on the dark side of the face when a light is 45º to the side of the subject as well as 45º above the subject.

Tomorrow the students in the class will learn how to create the triangle on a person's cheek to create Rembrandt lighting. This is my first lesson in lighting, which I think is a great place to start.

Nikon D4, AF NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4D, , ISO 200, ƒ/8, 1/200–four Alienbees
To get this triangle the students will use a similar setup to this shot. For this shot I used four lights. the students will only use one.

They will use just the one light with a spot grid on it.

Here is there assignment they will get tomorrow. How about you try it yourself.

Rembrandt Lighting Assignment

I gave the class an assignment on making a Rembrandt light portrait using just one light with a 10º or 20º spot grid.

Most everyone in the class has never even turned on a studio strobe before.

Here is the assignment:

Rembrandt portrait using one grid light


Please get the best possible expression.  You need to see a triangle on their cheek.  Be sure the triangle includes lighting their eye.

Monobloc with 10 or 20 degree grid
You may use any power setting you choose.  Be sure skin tone is properly exposed and correct white balance.

Choose the lowest ISO setting for your camera.  Use a portrait lens 85mm - 100mm or if you don't have full frame then 50mm will be OK.

You may use a black background as well.  No other lights to be used in this assignment.

Here one of the students shot from the past:
Photo by: Lauren R. Tercero

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