Join Eduardo Angel for an in-depth discussion in this video The potential of practical light, part of Lighting Design for Video Productions.
To illustrate the potential of practical light, we showed a man working on a car in a garage. He was using a utility light, which happened to be our one and only light source for the scene. The utility light was warm and shaped his face beautifully. We exposed for his face and let everything else fall into darkness. The background was completely black, which decreased the amount of information we were giving to the viewer, and limited the clues on when and where the action was taking place.
The darkness enhanced the sense of mystery we were trying to convey. It is hard to believe, but we shot this scene at noon with the garage door wide open. Our subject was doing something extremely simple and mundane. But because of the way the subject's face was lit and framed, we as viewers, expect him to do or say something very dramatic. The only movie trick we pulled was to cover a small window behind our subject with a black cloth. Several things changed when the small window was uncovered.
The reflection of the window on the windshield appeared very graphic, adding a layer that we didn't have before. We can now tell that our subject was working indoors, and we can also tell the time of day, or at the very least, that the scene was not shot at night. One utility light, and one small window, a world of difference. Once again, which lighting approach works best only depends on the story you are trying to tell.
This course was created and produced by Eduardo Angel. We're honored to host this content in our library.
- Understanding the role of lighting
- Lighting interior and exterior scenes
- Directing the viewer's attention
- Enhancing mood in a scene
- Achieving great light under harsh conditions
- Deciding on the right lighting style for your story