Toy Photography Rembrandt Lighting

On Monday I mentioned Rembrandt lighting as one of the characteristics of Annie Leibovitz photographic style. Following that, I felt the need to play with toys and lights… at home. Something unusual for me who mostly plays outside.

Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see how easy (or difficult) it was to get something close to Rembrandt lighting with toys, and in particular with LEGO Minifigs.

Rembrandt lighting

A Rembrandt lighting is a technique used in portrait photography that imitates the lighting style of Dutch painter Rembrandt. One characteristic of many of Rembrandt’s paintings is the specific use of low-key light creating a shadow shaped like a triangle below one of the eyes of the subject. The goal is to create interesting shadows and lights driving the eyes of the viewer through the frame.

Self-Portrait of Rembrandt (1658)

In photography, this is usually achieved by placing the main source of light above the subject at a 45° angle.

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Misadventures on a photo assigment

I’m not into cars.
For me, a car is mainly a utility object and not something I find particularly interesting to look at. If there’s one type of car I still find remotely beautiful, it’s the old and classic ones though.

So, when we got the assignment from LEGO to photograph the Creator Expert cars, I wasn’t too thrilled. The only Creator cars I didn’t own were the ones I found the least interesting. And those that fit the least in the Finnish Wilderness. Like the Aston Martin.
Nevertheless, I decided to finally build my VW Camper Van (which I bought more than 2 years ago…) and join the project.

Photographing it was one of the most difficult photographic exercises I’ve ever done. Not only for me but for my subject too.

Here are the (mis)adventures of my camper van…

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