TAG: Lighting Techniques

Photo by Kristaps B.

The Basics of Lighting

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Lighting is an essential tool for enhancing the video image. The subtle use of light creates atmosphere and mood, dimension, and texture. It can help to convey a plot line, enhance key elements such as set color or skin tone, and signals the difference between comedy and drama, reality and fantasy. Hard versus Soft All…

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Set Lighting Fundamentals

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Lighting Preparation As soon as you and the crew arrive at the location, the lighting director or gaffer should run the power cable to your camcorder or recorder and then string power cables to the lighting instrument locations. Once you place your camera in position, the gaffer can start placing the instruments. The crew should…

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Three tips for getting a great shot in direct sunlight

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Summertime is almost here, and so are challenges of shooting outdoors in the harsh summer sun. Although the winter months provide us with plenty of diffused cloud cover to properly expose out actors, the harsh, direct summer sun can be problematic when the light and shadows fall outside the contrast ratio of the camera. Here…

Hard Lighting techniques

Manipulating Hard Light

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Light can be manipulated as it travels from the light source to the subject. Let’s discuss the manipulation of hard light into shapes and patterns. A break-up pattern is very often used to give texture to the background of a shot. Breaking up the light with a tree branch, gobo pattern, Venetian blind, window pattern,…

Taking care of hotspots

The Hot Spots You Want to Avoid

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One problem you need to always be watching for are hot spots in the picture. These are often reflections on shiny surfaces, which must be “killed” because they will generally produce a region of clipped white in the final video. Camera operators and DPs with a film background will already be used to watching for…

Photo Courtesy of Sean Gardner

Soft Light Basics

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Soft light results when light is bounced or diffused over a relatively large surface, either by light shining through a large frame of diffusion, or light bouncing off of a large white surface. When this happens, the light’s quality is altered in a fundamental way. When light moves away from a conventional light fixture, the…

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