Over the next few weeks I’m going to be doing some lighting set ups.
In video’s and also showing you how to do them and what to look for while your at it.
and with any hope how to get as close to the look as possible.
This post is going to be about the look of Rembrandt lighting.
now there is a lot more to this than just putting a light up, putting a soft box on then just pointing and shooting.
I’ve created a diagram with a basic lighting set up and details that will be just below this post. to give you some idea of what your lighting should look like.
Now to the tech bit! and what to look for.
a little disclaimer by me. this is how I do it, it may not be the 100% right way but it gives a great effect,
I do this set up in 4 parts.
I have the model stand in the centre of the back drop about 3 – 4 ft from the back drop. now I like using a white back drop a lot in my images. but this look I feel is best suited with a black back drop. or a 50% grey. but anything works with this set up in theory as i add in a back light or rim light depending on back ground colour.
Now I set up the main light, I set this light to 1/2 power on a 300w flash head, using a 38 inch soft box with a diffusion panel over the front. on a tall light stand.
now I always look for the models best side before I place the light on a set side.
Once chosen, I place the light accordingly at 45 degrees to the subject. facing the light here will give a shadow to one side of the face. I then tilt the head of the flash down at about 45 degrees and lift the light until a shadow forms just under the nose and eye sockets.
if this has been done correctly you should see on the shadow side a triangle just under the eye this is what Rembrandt lighting is most famous for. and you’re nearly there depending on the light modifier being used this shadow / triangle could be a little harsh or soft depending on the size of light source relative to the subject.
now that we can see the triangle we need to bring out some of the detail in the shadow side of the face. this can be done using a second light or a simple reflector .. I normally go with the reflector option but if you use a light with a soft box, then I suggest that you start by putting the light at half the power of the main light. if you do it this way you still retain the Rembrandt look but you just bring out the details and soften the shadows on the shadow side.
the light or the reflector will need to be set at 45 degrees to the subject the same as the main light. this will take a little to get just right but by moving the fill up and down you will notice the changes in the shadows. this I tend to say is subject to taste because I personally don’t think there is 100% right way to fill this style of image.
now this will depend on the back drop and the look that you will want at the end.
we are all different when it comes to the background colour or effect ..
I like to place a light just behind the subject out of shot of the camera facing slightly up words towards the back drop this give a gradation to the background this again is subject to taste in that some like the gradation in the centre of the image some like it right behind the head. this is something I like to play about with depending on what look I want on the day.
when taking the shots of the subject the best result I find is shoot lens to nose or face on. this can be seen in the diagram.
I try to set my camera to around f8, ISO100 and with a 1/200 shutter speed. depending on the power of your lighting this could change up to f11
depending on the space you have you could even move the lighting further away but remember this can give harsher lighting or softer depending on the distance to subject.
give this a little try and see how you get on.. again this is my take on how I do this type of lighting .. it may not be right for others and I don’t claim to be a master of light.
but try this out and leave me a comment telling me how you got on.
for an added effect try using a colour gel on the rear light or turn the light towards the models back as a rim light to make them stand out.
I will be adding a video over the next few weeks to this post showing what I do and also will be posting images that I get when I do this lighting set up.
I hope you found this useful if so please follow this blog