Man With Quill Pin - Rembrandt Lighting
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Man With Quill Pin - Rembrandt Lighting

This photo was part of a whole different exercise that I was going through myself. I wanted to see how much I could do in an hour. I invited Jimmy to come to me in his street clothes, and one hour later just walk out, so I could see what we could achieve in one hour.

I had started purchasing books from the 1700s and 1800s. I did a typical drapery thing here that you might see in many Rembrandt-type paintings. I wanted to see if I could recreate Rembrandt’s style with beautiful lighting that would emphasize the person and have a nice fall-off from light into shadow.

I spent a week at the London’ National Gallery and went early in the morning when no one would be in the rooms, so I could spend one to two hours with Rembrandt alone. There’s a room specific to Rembrandt and a couple of others that he mentored.

Rembrandt is known for having ‘Rembrandt lighting’ (using a triangle of light on the cheek), but when you look at the majority of his images, he usually used broadside lighting - the opposite of that effect.

Some of Rembrandt’s scenes are simple, and some are very complex, so I also did a series of both complex and straightforward. He used a lot of symbolism. If you had a writing desk back then, it probably meant you were doing well, and people came to you for anything really important. If you had a letter in your hand, it might show you were trusted - and so the letter in the man’s hand here also says that he is trustworthy and also relevant.

Location: Edmonson Photography.

1/30; f/7.1; ISO 400; 105.0 mm.

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