The triangle of Rembrandt, the key to properly illuminate your portrait

The Triangle of Rembrandt, the key to properly illuminate your portrait

In addition to being a leader in the baroque painting, Rembrandt triangle has also become a of the best techniques to illuminate the pictures.

The photography and painting are closely linked. Indeed, when the cameras were born many artists who, fearful, watched as his work was threatened by this new invention. Photographers, not only had the power to immortalize a moment a much more effective way, but also began to implement some of techniques used in painting . As an example we Rembrandt lighting Triangle, a landmark in the Baroque and later in photography.

 Self-portrait of Rembrandt (1659) |? National Gallery of Art

Self-portrait of Rembrandt (1659) | National Gallery of Art

In both cases we speak of an image, which is affected by composition, geometric points or creepage. All this serves to compose a using different techniques for this picture. So it was almost inevitable that the works of Edward Hopper terminasen not influencing many frames used in the cinema.

As far as light is concerned, the paint Baroque noted for his technique of chiaroscuro, which employed contrasts to highlight the forms of the objects represented. One of the most important authors of this time is Rembrandt, who along his path was also modified his technique. Also during his period as a portraitist emphasize by using what with the passage of time has been called triangle of Rembrandt, a technique that would serve as a reference for later artists.

What is the triangle of Rembrandt?

To detect the triangle and Rembrandt must look on the face of the person portrayed, just below his eye. The lateral lighting, a part of the face is fully illuminated while the other shadows generated because of the projecting nose. Thus, a triangle of light is created at the bottom of the eye, which gives a certain drama to the scene as well as enhance the relief of the factions.

lit area and one in darkness , that simple (but effective) is the scheme used by Rembradt in many of his paintings and, years later, would also be a standard used in studio photography. However, the painter also would go through a stage where it emphasized by using a front lighting, but this we explained not cease to be his most recognized technique.

How do I get it?

It is quite simple, and get much knowledge are needed, just follow a very basic outline lighting. You only need our camera and a light source that we can serve as main focus (whether natural or artificial).

Scheme triangle Rembrandt lighting

As we see, you just have to place the focus of light about 45 ° to the camera position . Also, it is recommended that is somewhat elevated relative to the eyes of the person who will photograph, but not too much.

Another key point is the current as a function of how hard it will establish the shadows and, therefore, so that enhanced the contrast between the lightest and darkest areas. Normally, it is recommended that the main light is soft , which can be achieved by reducing its intensity, away, increasing the angle of the light beam or with accessories like softbox. Everything will depend on the result we want to achieve.

One of the common problems is that maybe the darker side of the face is too steep for our taste, something you can try to solve using a reflector . However, this light source must not be more potent than the principal, because if so would eliminate the shadows in its entirety and would not get any effect, but a flat lighting.

At all times, the Key will look at the triangle of Rembrandt, ie formed in the light under the eye. That will help the viewer’s attention is specifically directed to that area, and the contrast created becomes the main point of interest. As stated Leonardo Da Vinci , “all our knowledge comes from the feelings” that can cause sensations, even today, certain techniques of Baroque emerged in the seventeenth century to take effect.


The triangle of Rembrandt, the key to properly illuminate your portrait
Source: english  
September 30, 2015

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