This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Developing. There is no difference in developing Rembrandt portraits from any other style of lighting, for the difference in the illumination must be made up in the exposure; therefore you may apply the regular normal developer, and we particularly recommend the Universal formula given in Volume II. As previously stated, you expose for the shadows, and the high-lights will care for themselves. Should your negative show signs of contrast you will readily understand that the plate is under-exposed. If the highlights and shadows develop in harmony with each other, exactly the same as they appear on the ground-glass, you will know that your plate is properly exposed and the development can be completed in this bath. In case of slight under-exposure, the addition of more water will aid you in obtaining more detail.
Practice Work. For your model select a subject having a profile which is not angular, but contains graceful curves. The face should be quite full, in order that the greatest amount of roundness and beauty of light effect may be obtained. Proceed to arrange your subject in exactly the same manner as required for the regular Rembrandt Lighting. If the outline of your subject is better from one side than the other, you, of course, select the best side. You may find that the subject has a very short neck and that the best position would be with the figure facing the camera and the head turned from it into the light. The subject sitting quite erect and the head slightly tipped toward the camera will give an easily held position. A good way to overcome the exaggerated appearance of an extremely long neck, when making a profile picture, is to turn the back of the subject to the camera, with the face toward the light, gradually turning the face from the light until the proper line of illumination is obtained. Should the light be too strong in the outline or high-lights, make use of your diffusing curtains, raising or lowering the screen until you have supplied sufficient diffusion to these high points of light. If entirely closing the curtains on the screen gives you too much diffusion, or flattens the high-lights, then separate them slightly, just sufficient to produce catch-lights that will give crispness and roundness.
366. With this accomplished turn your attention to the shadows. If they lack detail or sufficient illumination, then make use of your reflecting screen. Place this screen at an angle that will illuminate the shadows more strongly from the front of the face than the rear, thus permitting of the gradual blending away of the light into the deepest shadows.
367. Your attention must next be turned to the background. See that the background is properly illuminated. You may find it necessary to have this ground overlap the window a trifle in order to have it come outside the range of the lens. With the background in place you are ready for the exposure.
368. Locate your camera in such a position as to secure the profile, or nearly a profile, of the face. If an exact profile was made, you would have what is termed a line lighting, which is not at all pleasing and does not give you the features of the face. You, therefore, want a trifle less than the profile and must admit into the view the full width of the bridge of the nose. This will give more roundness to the portrait. A good guide to follow is to turn the head towards the light until the eyebrow or eyelashes on the high-light side of the face are just out of range of the view. This will give you the full breadth of the forehead as well as the width of the nose, thus supplying the needed roundness to the portrait.
369. The camera is placed at a point from which you have viewed the subject when arranging the light, and in order to avoid reflections, shield the lens with the cone previously mentioned. When focusing on the ground-glass be careful that more space is allowed in front of the subject than in the rear. Never place a profile exactly in the center of the plate. Many times the exact profile view of the face is undesirable owing to the fact that the outline is too angular or the lines may be too straight. Should this be the case, move the camera around more towards the front of the subject, say about a two-thirds view, or until a pleasing outline is secured. Never select the position between a two-thirds view and a profile, for in doing so you will have displeasing angular lines of the cheek and only a partial view of the high-light eye, thus losing its shape and roundness.
370. When you have chosen a position which gives you the desired roundness make an exposure, bearing in mind that it will require, approximately, twice the exposure as for a front view Rembrandt Lighting. It is advisable after making the first exposure, to arrange your subject in a different position, yet carrying out the same lines of lighting. You may have posed them with the head drooped, or slightly tilted towards the camera. There might be another view that would appear pleasing by raising the chin a trifle, of if the neck is quite long, lowering the head. A slight tilting, raising or lowering of the head makes a vast difference in the general appearance of the picture; therefore a large variety of effects may be obtained by slight changes in position.
371. After exposing a few plates, proceed to develop - using the normal developer - and develop these lightings the same as you would any other portrait. When the plates are dried, make proof prints from them, printing sufficiently deep to show all the quality there is in the negative. Note on the backs of these proofs all data regarding your method of procedure, being particular to note the time of day, the amount of exposure given, etc. File these prints in your proof file for future reference and for your next experiments be guided entirely by the results of your former efforts. They will serve as an excellent key for your guidance.