Tuesday, October 25, 2011

cinematography 1-06

We need great production design to do good lighting, what will you make images of, if there is nothing beautiful to look at? ( the above example has nature doing the production design )

Decide what mood we want? What do we want audience to see?

Then comes direction of lighting overall quality

Impact of color

There are only 2 kinds of sources:

SPEACTRAL (hard) point source

DIFFUSED (sort) large source

The properties of light as such are:



ANGLE: it suggests the location / time/ mood

COLOR: context is important, n then what the color means in that context

INTENSITY: emphasis

FALL OFF EFFECT: inverse sq. law, if a light is 400fc at 10 feet. In 20 feet it will be not 200, but 100 fc

COVeRAGE: spread of light

Motivation: the light has a realistic origin

Then there is

1. Low key

2. High key

3. Graduated Tonality

When lighting:

Place key light 1st, it defines the direction/ source / angle/ mood

Fill light is used to control the contrast of the shadow of the key light (often times from next to camera and in between the key light and the camera position.

Set light: it lights up the set, but does not touch the actors

Eg: lady from shanghai, Laura look at these movies, double life of Veronique, the showdown,

Look at the movie: the dark corner: to study lighting of different kinds.

7 kinds of lighting we can say broadly are:

1. Rembrandt

2. Frontal

3. Side

4. Broad

5. Narrow

6. Godfather (toppish)

7. Mystery (bottom)


Look for a book on lighting by miller, good reference.

Light fixtures:


Open face


Sealed beams- naked city was shot with this. They are like car headlights, are a bank of lights.

Special fixtures: kino flows/ led lights

Often we use Fresnel for key n soft for fill

Hmi’s are 3 ½ times more powerful then tungsten light (that’s more light is generated then heat,

Tungsten light has full color spectrum, yet they are warmer (more heat is generated) almost 80 is heat, n only 20 % is light, but a better light source till now,

LED new lights in the market, but they are more harsh light,

Other recommended movies to watch for lighting are:

The pagenflower



The virgin spring

Mildred pierce

Revolutionary road

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