What Is Rembrandt Lighting? All Portrait Photographers Need to Know

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Rembrandt lighting refers to a very specific lighting style. More or less, if you think of a little triangle of light, think of Rembrandt. It comes from a painterly look, and in photography it can flatter your subject. Tons of tutorials out there tell you all about the history of it. So in this one, we’re diving into our archives to give you a practical idea of how to use Rembrandt lighting. We’re also going to give you some tips from experience. 

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Tested: The PolarPro QuartzLine Circular Polarizers Cut Down Glare Well

Essentials is a series featuring products we’re currently lusting over in quick, bite-sized posts.

Circular Polarizers have become more and more important in my work, and the PolarPro QuartzLine Circular Polarizers act almost like the dehaze tool does in Lightroom. With a reliable build quality to them, my only complaint has more to do with the laws of physics and how they perform on wide-angle lenses. But if you want to get rid of reflections, get better colors in a scene, and bring out a ton of details in-camera, then the PolarPro QuartzLine Circular Polarizers are an essential item for you. What would otherwise take you time in Lightroom or Photoshop can be eliminated from the start in-camera with the PolarPro QuartzLine Circular Polarizers. And best of all, if you’re using a camera with an EVF, you can clearly see the effect on the scene.

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How to Create Rembrandt Lighting in a Photo

The shadow and fact that this image was lit on only one side makes this very low key

The shadow and fact that this image was lit on only one side makes this very low key

It’s common for Rembrandt lighting to be spoken about in the photo world–and its popularity is also often associated with its ease of creation. Rembrandt lighting is originally attributed to the famous painter whose portraits portrayed a subject with what appears to be window light hitting them. The light would bathe one side of the face in light and create a small triangle of light on the other side. The rest of it would be blocked by the nose or the other side of the face.

The way to get Rembrandt lighting to work is fairly simple and requires a large light source coming from a specific angle in addition the face being turned in a specific angle to create the triangle.

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Useful Photography Tip #80: Lie Down

julius motal the phoblographer cats

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Photography commands use of the entire body. You’re walking along the street in your hometown, and something off to the side catches your eye. As you turn to see what the commotion’s about, you instinctively recognize that you want to make a photograph, so you raise your camera to your eye with your right hand and slide your left hand underneath. You quickly assess the settings, adjust your feet so that you’re stable – if only for a moment – hold your breath, and press the shutter. For the briefest fraction of a second, you’re completely still.

The physicality of photography isn’t always talked about, but it’s an essential part of the craft. There are moments we miss when we remain standing. That’s not to say we’re completely blind to what’s happening on the ground, but a photograph of a cat, from a cat’s level, could do more than a shot from above.

A fine way to spice up one’s photography is try it from new perspectives. In this case, lie down and see what you find. And don’t just limit your field of view to what’s at that level. Lay on your back, and get a ground’s eye view of your environment. You might come away with something worth sharing.

Quebee is the Itty Bitty Camcorder System For Your Phone


A new Kickstarter is looking to turn your phone into a control for your own personal multi-angle reality TV show–sort of. It’s called the Quebee; and they are little camcorders that are meant to be placed all over to record something so that you don’t really have to. The cameras are all controlled via your smartphone too: which makes multiple angle video coverage super simple. In fact, the app also lets you see the incoming feeds from each camcorder as they record video.

They’re marketing it as a three piece kit: which includes three cameras that can be set up for multi-angle coverage. Plus, they can do timelapse recording.

The company’s Kickstarter video is after the jump; and the product seems really, really cool.

Via DigitalTrends

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