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Portrait Lighting Styles – Rembrandt Lighting

Another of my ‘why not try this at home’ posts given that most of us are in lockdown. You’ve got me (un retouched – I could make myself look like George Clooney but it would take days of Photoshop work and life’s too short) as no-one in our house is keen on being photographed because it’s been weeks since any of us saw a hairdresser. This shot is straight out of camera. It’s in black and white so you can see the light pattern more clearly.

Rembrandt was renowned for using this style of lighting in his paintings. It’s identified by the triangle of light on the far cheek. The light source is angled at about 45 degrees to, and is above, the subject.  The shadow of the nose and the cheek touch to create the triangle. You also need to make sure that you have a catchlight (a reflection of the light source) in both eyes, otherwise the eyes appear ‘dead’.   

Camera settings were 200 ISO,  f8 at 1/125 second with the power of the flashgun metered to suit (but any light source will do – if you can’t move it just ask the subject to change position).  Have fun…

If you’d like any free advice with indoor photography (given that this is where most of us are spending most of our time at the moment) message me, give me a ring or drop me an email; I’d be happy to help.


Rembrandt lighting

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