Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Use Rembrandt Lighting In Your Portrait Photography For Added Drama

Use Rembrandt Lighting In Your Portrait Photography For Added Drama

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Use Rembrandt Lighting In Your Portrait Photography For Added Drama

Posted: 29 Jan 2014 12:44 AM PST

Final Reminder: Only 1 day left! in the deal on: Quavondo's Dramatic Photography Lighting eBook

Our portrait photography photo tip for today is about “Rembrandt Lighting.” This is a great lighting pattern to use if you are going for a dramatic mood in your portrait. Not every face is ideal for Rembrandt lighting, but it is a powerful addition to your portrait photography lighting arsenal.

rembrandt potrait lighting

Self Portrait by Rembrandt, 1660 (via flickr)

What is Rembrandt lighting?

Rembrandt lighting is a portrait lighting pattern that shows one side of the face in highlight and the other in shadow. On the shadowed side, the cheek has a triangle of light. It is called Rembrandt lighting because the Dutch artist Rembrandt frequently used it in his portraits.

Many budding photographers shy away from using these advanced lighting techniques because they don’t have any studio lights. Let this be a motivator for you. Rembrandt didn’t have studio lights either! (He didn’t even have electricity.) This–and all of the other lighting patterns–can be used with any light source, not just studio lights. Windows, the sun, reflectors… it just doesn’t matter. It’s the shadows that matter, not the source of the light creating them.

Remember, broad lighting is when the side of the face furthest from the camera is in shadow. Short lighting is when the side of the face closest to the camera is in shadow. Since shadow areas tend to visually recede, broad lighting makes the face look wider – more broad. That’s where the pattern’s name came from.

Since most of us want to look thinner, you will most likely be using the Rembrandt lighting pattern with a short light base in most of your portrait photography. But, not always, so learn and practice creating it both ways.

rembrandt lighting

“Charline” captured by AP Photographie

How do you create the Rembrandt lighting pattern?

Position your subject so the light source is to the side and higher than the head. Then have your subject turn slightly away from the light source. (Or move the light source if it is mobile.)

One problem you may encounter is that if you are using light from a window or a large reflector, some of the light may be coming from too low of an angle and mess up your pattern. Just cover up the bottom part of the light source and block off the extraneous light. Problem solved.

rembrandt lighting for portraits

“Rembrandt” captured by Jaimi Lammers

In a previous article on loop lighting, we discussed not letting the shadow from the nose touch the shadow on the cheek. In Rembrandt lighting they do intersect. That is what creates the triangle.


“Rembrandt Lighting” captured by Tawcan

Some subjects will have facial and/or nose shapes that don’t easily lend themselves to this pattern. In this case, make sure you are doing it right, and if it isn’t working, do something else. Another lighting pattern will be more suited to their face.

The Rembrandt lighting pattern is a good one for adding drama to your portrait photography. It is also one of the classic photo lighting patterns, and every photographer should be comfortable in using it.

Today’s photo assignment is to learn the Rembrandt lighting pattern and use it in your portrait photography. It can definitely separate you from the crowd.

About the Author:
Dan Eitreim writes for ontargetphototraining (insert link). He has been a professional photographer in Southern California for over 20 years. His philosophy is that learning photography is easy if you know a few tried and true strategies.

For Further Training, Only 1 Day Left:

At its core, our photography deal this week is on an easy-to-use technical handbook with lighting set-ups and simple tips you can implement right now to improve your lighting. Each chapter focuses on a type of lighting (e.g. one-strobe, two-strobe, camera flash, hot lights). This deal expires tomorrow at midnight!

Ending soon here: Quavondo's Dramatic Photography Lighting eBook

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

An Expert Guide to Macro Photography (Video)

Posted: 28 Jan 2014 01:57 PM PST

Macro photography is one of the most exciting photographic genres. Unlike, say, travel photography, where everybody and their brother has a decent picture of the Eiffel Tower, a macro lens allows photographers to explore the details of miniature worlds that normally go unnoticed by the human eye, offering never-before-seen perspectives.

Michigan-based photographer Rick Lieder shares five expert tips for great macro photography in the following video:

“What I like about macro photography is the challenge. I like to challenge myself doing something difficult, maybe something that no one’s ever done before—or seen.”

Lieder demonstrates his techniques by photographing insects outdoors in a nature park on a rainy day, showing that you can get great results even in less-than-ideal weather conditions.

macro insect photography

He offers several practical tips for getting great results when starting out with macro photography:

1. Know the Tools of the Trade

Capturing life-size or larger-than-life images of small objects requires a true macro lens. Lieder uses Tamron 90mm and 180mm macro lenses. Also, achieving clear, sharp pictures at high levels of magnification requires stability, so a tripod is a must.

2. Get on the Same Level

Getting on the same level as your subject allows viewers of your photograph to really feel immersed in the scene, plus it gives you more background options (other than just the ground, which you’re stuck with when shooting from above). To achieve this approach, it helps to have a tripod that can get as low to the ground as possible.

outdoor macro photography

3. Find Contrast

Contrast makes any picture more interesting, whether it’s contrasting colors, light and dark shades, or even lighting style—Lieder recommends side- or back-lighting to set off your subject.

backlighting in macro photography

4. Use Manual Focus

When using a macro lens, your depth of focus is sometimes paper-thin. Since auto-focus can’t read your mind or sense your creative vision for the photograph, using manual focus is your best bet for precise focusing.

5. Be Patient

Macro photography is an art that can’t be rushed—sometimes you have to wait for your subject to get into the right position or the lighting to be just right. So be prepared to be patient!

macro photography of insects

“I can spend a lot of time—hours—chasing a small subject that’s uncooperative, under lighting conditions that are very difficult. Most of the time it doesn’t work. When it does work, it’s a great feeling.”

Go to full article: An Expert Guide to Macro Photography (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Interesting Photo of the Day: Matterhorn Alpenglow in the Swiss Alps

Posted: 28 Jan 2014 11:57 AM PST

At 14,690 feet (4,478 meters) in height and boasting four steep faces surrounded by glaciers, the Matterhorn is one of the tallest and most dangerous peaks in the Alps. It’s also one of the most sought after. Throughout history, the mountain’s fierce terrain has killed over 500 alpinists, but masses of undaunted mountaineers attempt to climb to the summit every year.

The Matterhorn is the most prominent peak in this photograph, covered in the red glow of morning:

matterhorn switzerland alps alpenglow sunrise mountains snow swiss

“Morning Fire of Matterhorn” by Karol Nienartowicz. (Via Imgur. Click to See Full Size.)

This natural phenomenon is called alpenglow, which occurs when the sun is still below the horizon line, but its light reflects off of moist air particles in the atmosphere. While the term can be loosely used to describe any sort of fiery sunrise or sunset light cast on mountains, true alpenglow happens just before sunrise or just after sunset.

The photo was created by Karol Nienartowicz, a mountain photographer based in Gdansk, Poland. Nienartowicz combines his passion for mountaineering with his photography skill to fund his travels.

Have you ever photographed alpenglow? Leave a comment to tell us about your experience and share your work!

Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: Matterhorn Alpenglow in the Swiss Alps

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Tips for Photographing Sculptures Using Speedlights (Video)

Posted: 28 Jan 2014 10:21 AM PST

Whether you’re a professional photographer documenting someone else’s artwork, or an artist creating images for your own portfolio, knowing how to properly light three-dimensional work is crucial. In this video, photographer James Madelin shows us some simple ways to take better photographs of sculptural artwork:

  • Secure your camera to a tripod to ensure that you get a set of similar images, and to avoid having to continually refocus.
  • Mount flashes to light stands (or even tripods) using a “cold shoe” like the Frio and place them on either side of the artwork.
  • Face one flash toward the wall, and one toward the subject matter using an umbrella diffuser.
  • For especially reflective material, try facing both flashes toward the wall. Madelin recommends running one at 1/4th power and another at 1/16th, so that there is enough shadow on one side to let the contours of the sculpture show.
sculpture speedlight diagram

The top diagram shows how most of the sculptures were photographed, while the bottom one shows the change Madelin made for a shiny, high-glaze sculpture.

sculpture speedlight example

This image was taken with the lighting shown in the second diagram. There are no harsh highlights and the soft shadows on the right complement the sculpture well.

This method can be used for any instance in which you need to photograph an inanimate object, such as artwork documentation, product photography, or still life. These sculptures work great with a black background, but of course, you are free to experiment to find what works best with your subject.

Go to full article: Tips for Photographing Sculptures Using Speedlights (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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