PHLEARN MagazineGemmy Woud-Binnendijk Makes Her Photos Look Like 17th Century Paintings

Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk Makes Her Photos Look Like 17th Century Paintings

Fine art photographer Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk is known for her striking portraits that look like Golden Age paintings. While she does spend a lot of time editing in post, it is really her lighting techniques that give her portraits the look and feel of Old Master paintings. So, what equipment is she using to build depth and form, and capture the softness associated with oil painting? Let’s find out!


I don’t use a lot of gear, but the gear I use provides me the sharpness and the detail that I’m always after in an image.


Nikon D850

45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor, 3.2″ 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD

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Nikon D810

36.3 MP FX-format CMOS sensor, 51-point AF system

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I use a Nikon D850. I started with a simple Nikon. Last year I was using the D810, but I was missing out on the number of megapixels and the detail when I began to print larger images. Last year, I switched to the Nikon D850 that has a lot of megapixels and is very accurate for what I want to capture.


Nikon 105mm f/1.4E

Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16, Three Extra Low-Dispersion Elements

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Most of the time the only lens I use is the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E. For me, it’s a powerful combination when used with the Nikon D850. The downside is that I have to be at some distance from the model, but I take that for granted. I like the look and feel of this lens.


Profoto D2 1000Ws

1000Ws Monolight, 300W Modeling Lamp, Built-In AirTTL Radio Receiver

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Profoto B1X 500 AirTTL

Profoto B1X 500 AirTTL Flash Head with 500Ws adjustable in 1/10 f-stop increments over a 9 f-stop power range

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Profoto A1

Li-Ion Battery: 350 Full Power Flashes, High Speed Sync, LED Modeling Light

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Most of the time I use a two light setup: one key, and one fill. The lights I use are Profoto strobes. I like the quality and reliability of these strobes. In my studio I use the D2 because it’s fast. The B1 is perfect for outdoor shooting because of the batteries, and I always have an A1 in my bag when traveling.


I use a Think Tank Retrospective bag. I like the way it looks and it has enough space to fit my camera, lens and A1 light.


I always use my Sirui tripod, a big umbrella with diffuser and a big scrim.

To find out more about Gemmy and her technique, read our full interview with her. You can also see more of Gemmy’s beautiful photos and keep up with her latest projects on her website and Instagram.

Jennifer Berube

Jen is the Editor-in-Chief of PHLEARN Magazine, where she helps shape inspiring stories and handy tips for aspiring and seasoned photographers. She has worked as a photography writer for many years, contributing to numerous industry-leading publications. Proudly Canadian, sometimes globetrotter, self-taught photographer, Jen is temporarily settled in Spain.

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