You may have heard the term but never understood what it is?  But what exactly IS Rembrandt Lighting?

It is a little out of favour these days but Rembrandt Lighting is a style of lighting for portraits.  The key feature of Rembrandt lighting is the small triangle of light under the subject’s eye.  The lighting is named after the artist Rembrandt who when painting is subjects used to paint the light falling on their faces this way.


For this lighting the main light source is placed at 45 degrees to the subject and a little above their head.


Changing the position of the light to extend the light triangle so that the shadow from the nose no longer connects with shadow on the far side of the face is known as loop lighting.

The above notes and lighting diagram are taken from the 94 page notes that accompany our “Comprehensive Studio Course” which starts in May.