Hollywood, Fresnel Lights and a touch of Rembrandt.


My trip down to Map Studios this week was a little unexpected but when Cariad was in the area and available to shoot arrangements were made at very short notice. This did mean that there was very little advanced planning but I did remember seeing some old Fresnel lights lurking at the back of the studio on my last visit. I’ve recently been reading about Hollywood lighting and discovered that Fresnel lights were the lights most commonly used to shoot the original images that we now know as “Hollywood Style” images. So I thought it would be worth giving them a try and see what results we got.

Cariad fitted into the role of Hollywood star perfectly and we got some images that I think came quite close to the “look”


My initial thoughts? Yes, it does get quite close to that “Hollywood” look, which I suppose you would expect as this was the original lighting used. It is a very harsh light and I felt it was not a very forgiving light. I was fortunate with my choice of model but I did think that with anything other than a model with the very best quality skin  you could be working overtime in photoshop. However I can’t say how much of what I experienced was due to to light or my inexperience using them. I will certainly use them again and see if there is any improvements that can be made.

And what about Rembrandt? Well check out the images below. The little triangle of light on the cheek is known as Rembrandt lighting as this was something that Rembrandt featured in many of his paintings. “True” Rembrandt lighting should have a triangle no wider than the eye and no longer than the nose so perhaps still a bit of work to do there but we do have a triangle. There are many differing opinions on when it is best to use this  style of lighting and I think the best advise is, give it a go and see what you think. Like most things, at the end of the day it’s down to personal choice.


This was only a small amount of what we got up to on the day. Cariad brought along some very interesting vintage clothes which gave us some pretty good images and we  then returned to the modern day and tried our hand at using depth of field to blur the background before finally rounding off with some art nude. I’m still working on the rest of the images but keep checking the “out of the camera” section of my site as there will be some of the images from the day on there eventually.

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