i am currently enrolled in a DSLR cinematography class taught by Dr. Kurt Lancaster. We have several lighting and camera related exercises throughout the semester, this is the first.
The assignment was to look at the lighting style used by a classic painter and to imitate that in a short film where the camera and model were static. When i think of classic lighting i immediately think of Rembrandt. His style is a corner stone of any artists use of light, in fact ‘Rembrandt Light‘ is a technical term used in the industry to describe this look.
While looking through a Google images search for ‘Rembrandt’ i stumbled across another Rembrandt’s paintings, this one was from Pennsylvania as opposed to Holland. I liked his painting of John Meer, seen here. Since i happen to have a prop skull i decided this was a completely feasible idea.
I was in the studio helping a my friend Mike Thompson with a photo shoot for our photography capstone class, when i decided to steal his model for a few minutes while i shot this project. I had her pose like the painting, then break from that and move around a little, i also shot a few different angles and focal lengths, as per the assignment guidelines.
In the final shot i had the model raise the skull up to the side of here face to provide fill light. When after a moment she pulls it away, the Rembrandt look is dramatically shown. Although this assignment was more of a technical lighting exercise than the height of creative expression, i enjoyed it and think the result was fun and well lit.