Lighting Shenanigans

Lighting setups

Back lighting: the light is placed directly behind the subject defining there edges and separating them from the background. This leaves the front (shortside) in darkness.

Front lighting: The light directly shines on the subject normal blowing out any details. useful for creating disorientation or evening out surfaces.

Rembrandt lighting: for this the light shines at 45 degrees to the front of the subject on a human face this will cause the appearance of a small triangle of light beneath the far eye.


Lighting Quality

Hard: Hard light is where the edges of the light are sharp and full of contrast as the light is focused and not diffused.

Soft: For soft light the light is more diffused (the same amount of light covering a larger area) and there for more feathered at the edges and seemingly less intense.



Broadside: The side of the subject facing the camera

Shortside: The side of the subject not facing the camera

Key: The main light

Fill: Extra light used to remove shadows (add detail)

High key:  lighting with low contrast ratio (evenly lit subject) used to give a “upbeat mood”

Low key: Lighting of high contrast like the chiaroscuro effect mentioned in my previous lighting post which I will put bellow.

Motivational lighting: lighting that is designed to look like it is coming from an an set source such as a lamp on the table that you want to emphasize or show in a different shot where the source itself docent work. (belongs to the scene)

Previous posts:

3 point lighting is used to light a subject so that they are clear to see from the front while the back light stops the subject merging with any dark background in order to highlight the shots depth. the side light is used to fill out any shadows that have too much contrast with the rest of the subject.

these are pictures from our 3 point lighting trials showing how each light contributes to lighting the scene. the key and back light were Arri 650 fresnel and the side light was a diffused panel light. we tried using reflectors and diffusers so that the shot looked right on the camera and that each light seemed the same camera.

Reflector – reflects the light so that it can be manipulated and/or softened.

Diffuser – spreads the light out softening hard edges and removing intensity.

barn doors – alters the width size of the lights beam.

Caravaggio was a realist to the extreme ‘Caravaggio’s intense level of realism was hardly appreciated by his peers. The thinkers behind the Council of Trent wanted art to be more natural than the Mannerist fantasies that had been in style, but Caravaggio went above and beyond this call.
This artist shows everything, from dirty fingernails, to the dirty bottoms of feet, to the bruises and worm holes on apples and the holes in pierced ears.

chiaroscuro was the style he founded it is the us of light to create volume and emphasize humanism.

tenebrism is the extreme of chiaroscuro and is used to demonstrate division and suffering.

In 1606, Caravaggio had to flee Rome with a price on his head after committing a murder. From 1606-10, he was constantly on the run, from Naples, to Malta, to Sicily, painting all the way. During this time of intense fear and personal trauma, Caravaggio’s paintings reached the ultimate in darkness and despair. Focusing on religious subjects and portraits his works were grim, somber and unsettling.‘ quotes from –

This research document has some interesting points about the physiological and psychological effects of light in a space:

the tables are of particular interest as thought people generally know how lighting and color effects emotions this provides a value  and a pattern for instance using intense blue light in order to create sympathy will also increase an audiences heart rate which provides a great opportunity to alter the tempo of sounds and change the entire perceptual mood of a scene.

“Direct light creates that stimulation, directly affecting the senses straight on. We need stimulation in lighting, the excitement and keeping the senses engaged in Entertainment lighting. In order to compete with the industry of entertainment in general.

Indirect light creates calm, suspense or curiosity playing on the senses via emotions and feelings. Can be used effectively to give the senses a break from being too over-stimulated. Creating a balance.” ––physiology-effects-of-lighting.html

About kitjaytaylor

Film student
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