Learn with Calumet. Rembrandt lighting for portrait photography.

The essence of photography finds its foundations upon the workings of light and shadow, or as the Italian masters of Renaissance Art would call it Chiaroscuro. And when it comes to portrait lighting, the use of light and shadow has very different effects on the final image. In order to create some common ground between photographers, Rory Lewis has put together a few key photography lighting setups that you should get to know:

Rembrandt Lighting

Rembrandt lighting is a well-known lighting setup that is used for portrait photography. To achieve this ‘look’ one half of the subjects face must be fully illuminated whilst the other half, usually the side furthest away from the camera is in partial shadow, with a very distinct illuminated triangle under the eye on the shadowed side of the subjects face. Rembrandt lighting was “named” after the master portrait painter himself used this lighting technique to such great effect in his work.

rembrandt 1

rembrandt 2

This set-up is very popular as it is easy to achieve using one sources of light and a reflector. Employing this technique you’re able to produce compelling images with the minimum of equipment.

Equipment List

Calumet Arctic White 2.72m x 11m Seamless Background Paper

Profoto 120cm Reflector – Black/White

Profoto 80cm Reflector – Silver/White

Bowens XMS Studio 750 Monolight

If you’re looking for the right camera to help you achieve the Rembrandt effect, head on over to our camera range to find the right one for you. And if you need some help, get in touch with us on social media, call us on 0333 003 5000, email us at customer.support@calphoto.co.uk, or see our Help Centre for FAQ and answers.

One comment

  1. Great ,I really like the photo and the lighting you used is a technique that works well for portraiture. However the expression that the model was asked to do with her mouth is a bit weird … it looks very strange and un natural

    Like

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