View Full Version : Old masters lighting - February 2011

02-01-2011, 11:08 AM
Hi members,

This is a REALLY interesting assignment that may take a bit of research/effort but the results will SURELY Improve your photography if you make the effort.

The majority of members/visitors will likely be unfamiliar with this lighting technique so here are a few resources.

When it comes to portraiture - Rembrandt lighting was regularly used and here are a few resources that describe the technique and have pix as well.
Rembrandt lighting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rembrandt_lighting)
Category:Rembrandt lighting - Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Rembrandt_lighting)
Rembrandt Lighting Exposed In Photography | Lens Diaries (http://www.lensdiaries.com/blog/photo-tips/rembrandt-lighting-exposed-photography/)

When it comes to still-life photography JAS_Photo (Thx Jas) wrote the following:
Old Masters style lighting is generally one light lighting. A north facing window, for example. It is generally high, to the front of the subject, and camera left. A white wall, reflector, or white bristol board can be used to reflect some light back but the lighting is generally fairly low key. Textures, shape and balance are important elements to consider. Some examples from the web:


Hope that helps and inspires!

Ok then who will post first!

02-01-2011, 12:33 PM
Oh I like this! And very available for any of us to do! Look forward to everyones posts!

02-03-2011, 04:10 PM
Oh Yeah!... I like this theme! :) ... It's one I have been dabbling in for quite some time now .... Really looking forward to seeing everyones takes on this project!

My husband brought me home a nice Rainbow Trout , he caught ice fishing ... So here's my efforts from yesterday .

02-03-2011, 05:13 PM
VERY well done Donna!!! :highfive:
In order to help others out, care to share your lighting recipe?


02-03-2011, 06:01 PM
Very nice work, Donna!

02-03-2011, 06:26 PM
Thanks Marko! :) ... and thank you JAS :)

That recipe would be ..... Window light and some rearranging of furniture .
I moved a the table to a window to catch the afternoon light shining in , so that the light shone across the scene from the right and so that the light started falling off just before hitting the gunny sack , that I hung up as a backdrop . A sheer curtain also filtered the edge of the window light at the back of the scene ..... Also , there is a lamp on to the left of the scene and a ceiling light on just behind me ... I had to keep repositioning the fish to get the light to hit it right ... If the sun had been a wee bit higher in the sky , it would have been easier ... Living here in the north , the sun is not very high in the sky this time of the year . ( just thought I had better add that , as for some of you , the sun is a lot higher in the sky in the afternoons than it is here )

In PP , I added a bit of vignetting to frame the scene .

Mad Aussie
02-03-2011, 06:50 PM
Very nice work Donna. Cool assignment!

02-03-2011, 07:06 PM
Thanks for sharing that Donna, i know it will be useful to others.

02-06-2011, 12:36 AM
Here's another one ... This time I used artificial lighting . Nothing fancy , just a $20.xx shop light on a stand , that I picked up at the hardware store . I fastened some aluminium foil around it to direct the light ... I held up a big semi transparent white roll-up cutting board in front of the light to diffuse the light ..... :shrug: I know , it sounds kinda redneck , dosen't it? :laughing: :laughing: ... But , I didn't use any duct tape :p ..I swear I didn't :laughing:

When life hands you Lemons ... Take pictures ....

Mad Aussie
02-06-2011, 12:55 AM
I know , it sounds kinda redneck , dosen't it? :laughing: :laughing: ...
Nope ... sounds innovative to me ... and the result proves it's not about the equipment :)

Oh ... and unless at one time or another you've had to help your richest relative remove the wheels off his new house ... yu'all ain't no redneck ;)

02-06-2011, 04:28 AM

Here's mine, Since natural light didn't want to play I went all artificial. Also it turns out we've drunk our house dry, so I turned water in to wine with some red and black food colouring.


02-06-2011, 07:16 AM
Cool shots so far, everyone. Richard, I have to ask. What software are you using to show your lighting designs?

02-06-2011, 10:59 AM
Cool shots so far, everyone. Richard, I have to ask. What software are you using to show your lighting designs?

I use coreldraw for my lighting diagrams, I've built up a library of basic components, so its relatively quick now to drag things to where I want them.

02-06-2011, 01:53 PM
Nice image richard and your lighting diagrams are muchy appreciated!

02-08-2011, 01:59 AM
Something possessed me after reading this assignment to take Laura's hand-painted Royal Winnipeg Ballet store doll and take her picture. I used one desk lamp light covered with translucent paper and found objects pink and small. These are f9 for .8 and 1.0 secs. In post I used a levels adjustment layer with soft light blending mode. I like the muted lighting and colors, the face details and the shadow play on the dress.
Model was a perfect doll. Photographer, not so much.



02-08-2011, 03:52 AM
Very cool shots so far! I really like the doll shots, Mike, especially the second one.

02-08-2011, 08:41 AM
Richard- I love your diagrams. thanks very much. that bread looks lovely but I'll bring the wine, 'k?
Mike-the doll shots are very creative and well done.

02-08-2011, 09:52 AM
Richard- I love your diagrams. thanks very much. that bread looks lovely but I'll bring the wine, 'k?

Sounds like a plan :D

02-12-2011, 06:33 PM
Nice work Richard and Mike :)

I'll have to find myself a box ... l like that idea , looks like it would work pretty good.

Wicked Dark
02-12-2011, 06:47 PM
Nice work everyone.

02-14-2011, 07:21 PM
okay so I finally sat down and gave this a try. Any feedback, comments would be welcome so I can learn. My husband gave me a rose this weekend. So I decided to play. I set up the rose in the dining room and used a candle for lighting. I took a number of shots and may subject you all to them as part of the 'red' assignment as well ;)


Mad Aussie
02-14-2011, 08:38 PM
okay so I finally sat down and gave this a try. Any feedback, comments would be welcome so I can learn.
Beautiful shot Bambi. However, my understanding of Rembrant lighting is it's not just single side lighting but should come from above and to the side of the subject. Although you may be able to use side lighting in this assignment ... I haven't had time to read the guidelines properly yet :) Again, nice photo!

Lots of cool photos in here actually. These later assignments are really lifting the results from people I think!

02-16-2011, 11:06 AM
thanks MA! I must have misunderstood what I read. Which is possible. I do like the level 2 assignments. Even though I may not post I have tried it :)

02-20-2011, 01:07 PM
Nice addition bambi!
Here's mine - wanted to try a portrait in a decent environment. May post another take of this as well. Feel free to comment/critique. Thx - Marko

02-20-2011, 09:30 PM
Nice shot and concept realized, Marko. I have to say though, some of your shots are a little disturbing or uncomfortable to look at because they are so emotionally charged. I do not know if they spring entirely from the imagination or have their roots in reality making it hard to know how to comment. Either way the image is thought provoking and certainly subject to interpretation by the viewer.

02-21-2011, 06:45 AM

JAS Photo on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jas_photos/5464714564/)

02-21-2011, 09:27 AM
I appreciated the comment Jas! For shots like this, I'll rarely reveal my intent in words as i do not want to guide the viewer. If you found it emotionally charged/difficult to look at, then i feel the shot worked. I have another shot coming from this set - you'll let me know - lol. thx! M

I like your latest addition as well!

02-28-2011, 01:39 PM
Well, I don't know if I got the point of this assignment but here is mine. :fingerscr