Production Lighting: How To Do Rembrandt Lighting

Rembrandt lighting is a type of lighting which can be used in photo studios. This is only normally used for studio portrait photography. The effect is named after Rembrandt van Rijn, who was well known for producing clear and crisp portraits. This technique is actually fairly easy to use. With a bit of practice, you will be able to use it to take very high quality portrait photos.

Rembrandt lighting techniques are becoming extremely popular in the world of portrait photography. If you want to improve the services that you offer your customers, then you should try to master this technique.

Step 1 - Choosing the Room

The first step starts by choosing the room where you will take the portrait photograph. To get the best results, the room should have dim lighting. This is very easy to control in a professional photo studio. If you don't have a studio, then you will need to draw curtains and stop as much light getting into the room as possible.

If photographing in a bedroom, then the perfect time to take these photos are during the early evening, when the light is already starting to dim.

Step 2 - Lighting

Next, you will need to place the lamp and direct it towards the subject. Adjust it slightly so that it is shining at an angle to the subject. This should cause the face to be in light on one side and shadow on the other. This will create a very severe looking effect, but don't let this worry you at this stage.

Step 3 - Reflecting

To complete the look, you now need to reflect the light back onto the subjects face. This can be accomplished by using a white piece of card or photo reflector. Position this opposite the studio light so that it can collect the light and bounce it back. You might need to play around with the reflector to get the lighting spot on.

This will help to slightly illuminate the dark side of the subject. However, it should not completely even out the light. It will simply soften any of the shadows.

Step 4 - Checking

You can then check what this looks like. If done properly, then the one side should be in shadow and the other in light. It should by possible to easily see the details in both sides of the photo. If you're not perfectly happy, then you can slightly adjust the angle of the light and the reflector.

Step 5 - Taking a Photo

With the lighting set correctly, you can then start taking some photos. It's always a good idea to take quite a few photos to ensure that you are happy with your work.

You will then be able to instantly review the photo on the screen. Assuming you are happy, then you will be able to transfer it to your PC. When you have transferred the photo, it can then be printed as normal.

With so many people requesting Rembrandt-style photographs, this is certainly a skill that every photographer should do their best to master.