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.
Side View Rembrandt Portrait. Rembrandt portraits, showing either a side or a two-thirds view of the face, are very popular for window lightings. They are made with the subject placed in exactly the same position as for the front view, the camera alone being moved further from the light to secure the proper view of the face. The contour of the subject's face governs, to a great extent, the position of the camera. A sufficient amount of the cheek on the highlight side of the face must be admitted to give roundness to the portrait and obtain the proper result, yet the position may be such as to obtain any view of the face, from the extreme front to the extreme profile.
Special Illumination Of The Shadows. The shadows may lack the required amount of illumination, in which case the reflector should be placed as near the subject as possible, thereby reflecting more light into the shadows, illuminating them in harmony with the high-lights. The same precautions must be taken in handling the reflector in this instance as when making the regular Rembrandt Lightings, bearing in mind that the object of the reflected light is to give softness between the high-lights and the shadows, but under no circumstances must the shadow ear be as strongly illuminated as the cheek on the same side of the face.
Practice Work. Having become thoroughly familiar with the instruction contained in this lesson and with the principles of Rembrandt Lighting, study carefully the various examples of Rembrandt Lighting effects in this volume; then proceed to pose a subject and make this lighting. When the effect is satisfactory make an exposure. Remember, that it will require about double the amount of time for a Rembrandt Lighting that is necessary to secure a correctly exposed Plain Lighting negative.
323. Develop the plate in normal developer, and observe its action. Does the plate develop evenly? If the high-lights appear stronger than they looked on the ground-glass, and the shadows hold back and do not build up in detail, the plate is under-timed. Immediately dilute your developer by adding an equal amount of water. This will reduce its action, and the developer will have more time to penetrate deeper into the emulsion, thus building up the shadows. A diluted Pyro developer is known as a soft working developer, for a negative in it gains detail in the shadows at a more rapid rate than it does density in the high-lights. Therefore, the high-lights of an under-exposed negative placed in a weak developer are actually restrained, while the shadow details are permitted to gain strength. When the high-lights are fully developed the shadows should have the required amount of detail.
324. Should the plate develop evenly - the shadows in the same relation to the high-lights, as they appeared on the ground-glass - you will know that the plate has been properly exposed. In case of under-exposure make another negative, giving more exposure to fully time the shadows. In fact, aim to slightly over-expose.
325. If the results of these first experiments are not satisfactory, proceed to make additional negatives. Observe the errors in your first attempts and try to overcome them.
When you finally obtain a good negative, make proof prints from each. Note on the back of the proofs complete data regarding your method of procedure. It might also be advisable to sketch on the back of at least one of the proofs, a diagram showing the floor plan, position of camera, subject, window, background, reflector, etc. Always state the exposure given each plate, the time of day, the kind of lens, etc. These proof prints should be filed in your proof file for future reference, and by studying the different prints carefully from time to time, you will avoid duplicating the same errors, and in a very short time be able to produce satisfactory results.