Rembrandt Lighting

Today in the studio we were trying to create a rembrandt lighting effect.

“There are two things that make up Rembrandt lighting: a light on one half the subject’s face and a triangle of light on the shadowed side of the face. Technically, the triangle shadow should be no wider than the eye and no longer than the nose. The thing that distinguishes Rembrandt lighting from simple short lighting is the triangle of light.”

We had one light at a 45 degree angle from the models and it was a bit higher than eye level. And we had a second light on the opposite side of the model a bit further back and at its lowest setting just to give a little bit of light to that side of the face where we are trying to create the triangle of light.

Here is our set up –


And my edited images –

Bailey Style

In todays studio session we discussed different types of lighting and then worked on recreating David Bailey’s style –

“David Bailey’s distinctive 1960’s portraits have a timeless feel and should be on everyone’s list of styles to recreate. His use of lighting and bold composition made him one of the world’s best known portrait photographers” 100 Ways To Take Better Portrait Photographs (Book)

We used a white backdrop, snoot on the backdrop then one light to the side of the model to create a very harsh shadow down one side of the face. This created a very powerful masculinity to the image.

I was the model for most of this session but i was also able to get a few shots of Roy afterwards so i could get an example of this lighting technique.

Low Key Studio Lighting

Today we experimented with low-key lighting, using a white backdrop, model on a stool and a single dedo continuous light. We each had a turn using our own cameras and practised taking photos of our classmates. Because of the low light we had to use high ISO and everyone had varying settings because of different camera models and their capabilities.

My camera settings are shown underneath each image – unedited, they would benefit from sharpening and noise reduction. With more time I would experiment with different light angles to minimise the harsh shadows.

50mm, 1.8, 125sec ISO 3200

50mm, 1.8, 125sec ISO 3200

Sebastio Salgado

I read Salgado’s book – An Archaeology of the industrial age, where he pays homage to the manual labour of all the men and women in the later 20th century. A life which is now only present in the third world countries. He travels all over the world and gets up so close and photographs them in a way it makes you feel like you are there. His black and white images were taken using Leica and Pentax cameras, he used only available light and captured the realness of each moment and how hard each day was for these people. He almost always used Kodak Tri X and he just loved the grainy images it produced. Once he moved to digital Canon cameras he had his tech assistants to use software and add grain to mimic that film.

I also read – on Sebastio Salgado and I found this a very good read, it explained a lot about him as a person and the reason behind his photographs

“Photography is not objective. It is deeply subjective – my photography is consistent ideologically and ethically with the person I am.” – Sebastião Salgado

            He encourages other photographers to become knowledgeable about history, geopolitics, sociology etc to enable you to be wise about the world we live in and that will then show in how you take your photos…something which I hope to achieve in my own photography journey.

These images really stood out to me…

 Oil Wells Kuwait

Oil Wells, Kuwait

Coal Mining IndiaCoal Mining, India