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.
Position Of The Subject. Refer to the floor plan, Illustration No. 15, and observe that the subject is placed a trifle nearer to the skylight than for Broad Lighting, yet occupies a position very similar to that for making Broad or Plain Portrait Lightings. The camera, however, is placed to secure a view of the shadow side of the face. The subject should be well under the first section of the light, the exact distance depending upon the nature of the skylight, whether it is a single-slant, double-slant, or perpendicular light. The distance also depends upon the size of the source of light. Many make the mistake of cutting off too much general light, and in this way obtain extremely dense shadows and too strong high-lights. This should be avoided. Secure plenty of clear detail in the most dense shadows, and by softening the light on your subject locally, with the diffusing screen, the skylight room can be kept well illuminated, thereby enabling the production of softer shadows, softer high-lights, and more atmosphere.
Upper Illustration No. 13 See Paragraph No. 227.
Lower Illustration No. 14 See Paragraph No. 230
Rembrandt Lighting-View of Room
"MADONNA" Study No. 13-See Page 577, Vol. VIII A. F. Wright & Co.
230. In Illustration No. 14, observe the position of the subject, and of the diffusing screen, the angle of light, and the amount of open light used in producing this style of lighting. By employing plenty of light one can not only work more quickly, but also secure expression that cannot be obtained by a prolonged exposure such as is necessary under a closed - and therefore slow-working - light.
Angle Of Light. The angle of light for Rembrandt Lighting is obtained in exactly the same manner as for Plain Portrait Lighting. If the room is wide enough good Rembrandt Lightings can be made with the subject located in the same position as for Plain or Broad Lightings, the camera alone being moved to the shadow side of the subject. If the room is quite narrow it may be necessary to place the subject nearer the side-light, in order to work more from the shadow side.
232. For full front or two-thirds views of the face very little, if any, altering of the position from that of the Plain Lighting will be required, as the camera can be moved about sufficiently to obtain the required result.
233. Where an extra wide skylight room is employed ideal conditions exist, as then the subject may be placed near the center of the room, where with the angle of light properly arranged to distribute the high-lights over the face, with the shadows soft and full of detail, we have a lighting that may be viewed from any point of the room. With the camera nearer the side-light, viewing the subject from this point, a good Plain Portrait Lighting is obtained. By moving the camera to the shadow side a well-modeled Rembrandt Lighting is secured, and by working with the camera almost directly facing the light, a Rembrandt Profile, perfectly illuminated and well balanced, is the result.
234. But these conditions seldom are offered. The photographer usually is compelled to work in rather close quarters; therefore the subject may have to be moved about to obtain different lightings. While work equally as good can be made in a small skylight room, it is not quite as convenient as with the added space of a large room.
235. In our Illustration No. 14 you will observe that the subject is located in the same place as for the Plain Portrait Lighting, except that it is a trifle nearer the side-light, the camera being shifted to the shadow side of the subject. The opaque curtains controlling the angle of the light remain undisturbed; the position of the diffusing screen is slightly altered, being placed almost parallel with the sidelight; the reflecting screen is in the same position as it was for the Plain Lighting.
236. By reference to the diagram of the floor plan, Illustration No. 15, it will be observed that the subject is located just within the line of the end of the side-light and 7 feet from the light; the camera is located 10 feet from the light, or 3 feet farther than the subject. The diffusing screen is placed parallel with the side-light and 3 feet from it, with the top of the screen tipping toward the subject. The near end of the reflector is located 9 1/2 feet from the side-light; the background is 3 feet to the rear of the subject, with one end 3 feet from the wall; the end at greatest distance from the light is not illuminated and faces the camera. With the figure facing the camera and the face turned parallel with the side-light, a two-thirds view of the face is obtained.
Illustration No. 16. Examples of Rembrandt Lighting.
See Paragraph No. 237.
Illustration No. 17. Example of Rembrandt Lighting.
See Paragraph No. 237.
237. When making Rembrandt Lightings, the subject must be brought under the light sufficiently to permit the source of light to fall on one side, also a trifle from the rear of the subject. A number of excellent examples of Rembrandt Lightings are shown in Illustrations Nos. 16, 17 and 18.
238. You can, by means of the opaque shades on the top-light, alter the light to accommodate any size skylight room. All styles of lighting can be produced in almost any room, and under any form of skylight, or window, by using opaque shades arranged as previously described in Chapter V (Difficulties - Interior Photography). By using opaque shades on the sky- and sidelight, and with the proper handling of the diffusing and reflecting screens, absolute control of the light is to be secured. Naturally, the larger the room the greater should be the volume of light, so where there is a large light in a small room, the strength of the light must be reduced to accommodate the size of the room. Always utilize as much of the light as possible, however, because it is light that makes photography possible, so take advantage of this condition to the fullest extent.