Rembrandtlicht – ein Klassiker  in der Fotografie

Rembrandt light – a classic in photography

Only a few artists are lucky enough to have a certain lighting named after them. Anyone who has ever dealt with the possible types of light in portrait photography knows that, in addition to the high-contrast chiaroscuro, which was made famous by the painter Caravaggio, it is mainly the Rembrandt light that is often used and never goes out of style.
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Only a few artists are lucky enough to have a certain lighting named after them. Anyone who has ever dealt with the possible Types of light in portrait photography knows that in addition to the high-contrast chiaroscuro, which was made famous by the painter Caravaggio, it is mainly this Rembrandt light is that people like to use and will never go out of style.

What distinguishes the light characteristics of the Rembrandt light?

Before describing the peculiarities of this style of lighting, it makes sense to make a brief digression into art history. Rembrandt van Rijn, that is the full name of the world-famous Dutch artist, worked on the subject throughout his life Effect of light on objects or persons , which he wanted to represent by means of oil painting.

For this reason, today the connoisseur recognizes a painting by Rembrandt not only by the subject or the brushwork, but above all by how the shadows on a portrait of the painter falls.

The Rembrandt light is characterized by the fact that the side of the person to be portrayed that is averted from the light is in shadow. The Contrast between the halves of the face is thus quite clear. The most distinctive feature of this world-famous style of lighting is the shadow of the nose. This includes in connection with the cheek shadow on the side facing away from the light small triangle of light on the person to be painted, or photographed today.

The light setup , which is required for the Rembrandt light, often forms the basis for further, more complex setups. The reason for this is that the viewer modeling effects of light and shadow on the face as particularly harmonious feels.

The light structure and the application of the Rembrandt light

The Rembrandt light combines several great advantages in photography. It's relative easy to apply and is therefore one of the first lessons in the training of professional photographers. Even laypeople don't need much more than one single light source , a lamp tripod and at best onelight shaper, such as onesoft box, to the painterly light style to be able to achieve. Whether creative people tostudio flash grab or go for that steady light , which is particularly suitable for beginners, is up to you. Rembrandt himself mostly used window light or candlelight to illuminate his portraits, which was positioned in an elevated position near the model.

Aufbau Rembrandt-Licht

If you dare to take the first steps with the Rembrandt light, it is less about the perfect light source or the ideal light shaper than about the correct positioning . The light source is set up diagonally in front of the model. It is also important that this light falls obliquely from above , this is the only way the shadow of the nose can close the gap on the side averted from the light and with it that characteristic triangle of light let arise.

If a studio flash is used, the modeling light supports correct positioning. With the Rembrandt light, it should be noted that the model is proportionate little freedom of movement has. With every change in the head position, the Adjusted light setup become. This is the only way to preserve the typical characteristics of this style.

This is how light shapers influence the mood

Another great advantage of the Rembrandt light is that the desired effect is almost identical any light shaper can be achieved. However, that does not mean that different light shapers not in different ways affect mood . Onelarge soft box, which throws particularly soft light onto the model, is always suitable when the Contrast decreased should be and the progression from light to shadow is desired to be as gentle as possible. Such a light shaper is often used by children or women.

That's a little more concisebeauty dish out, but are also conceivablestrip lights or even onesnootwho with her precisely directed light provides extremely hard shadows. Men should like to look a bit more masculine and angular in portraits, in such cases a light shaper with harder light can be used.


A summary of the Rembrandt light

The Rembrandt light rightfully belongs in the repertoire of every photographer. It forms the basis numerous creative light setups and just one light source with the appropriate light shapers is enough to iconic mood lighting imitating some of the most famous portraits in art history. The light structure can be easily expanded, so that the Rembrandt light is always suitable when you want to further develop your own skills.

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