Analysing the Lighting Techniques

2 February 2017

Just like with human eyes, a camera can only capture the images for a scene through light. Whether using available or natural lighting of the surroundings or using professional lighting equipment, every production requires a suitable lighting design according to the needs of the film’s story and the director’s vision.

Every lighting set-up provides a specific mood, emotion, atmosphere, and aesthetics to the overall film viewing experience. Without light, it is not possible to see anything, and it is not possible to shoot a scene.The primary reason why lighting is needed in a production is because of the technical requirement for proper exposure of every shot in the film. Just like with photography, shooting a scene without enough light makes the shot underexposed. In such case, the shot looks too dark, and there are only a few details that can appear on screen. In worst cases, what you see is almost a black screen that even the actor’s faces and the props and sets around are not recognizable anymore.

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On the other hand, shooting with too much light makes the shot overexposed.

In such case, the shot looks too bright and the entire scene looks annoyingly washed out, even to the point of looking blindingly white with almost no details to make the scene recognizable. For a scene to be properly exposed, the cinematographer and the lighting team must utilize a wide array of production equipment, according to specifications required by each scene. Every shot must not be too dark or too bright so that the elements it contains register properly on screen. In the following essay ill describe the lighting setup of a scene from the popular TV drama serial “How I Met Your Mother”.In that particular scene we see that the character “Barney Stinson” singing a song with two singer. In that scene he keep coming and interrupt the other singers with his strange style of singing. At the beginning, two guys start singing with the piano.

We can see a side lamp on the left corner, one small wall lamp just at the back wall and there is light coming from the window. Visibly there are three different types of light sources in that scene. These all are incident lights because none of them are very light. The lamp is there just as an eye candy and so as the back wall light.The light that coming from the window is working as a soft back light. Its gave the characters nice sharpness. There are also another light is set above the camera as a key light.

It’s reflecting on the people on the screen. There is another light set as a key light for the character that is sitting on the couch. That character doesn’t have that strong light because she in not highlighted in the scene. The whole lighting is to setup a nice quite home atmosphere where people can sit relaxing and can even sing. That’s how the side lamp and the wall lamp came.It’s giving the room a nice classy atmosphere and the lighting source from the window, that’s probably a tungsten light with white diffuser on. From my point of view, the whole lighting is successful because it does gave the room a nice touch of class while all the characters have the sufficient amount of light.

The camera didn’t move at all so it was easy for the lighting department to set up the lighting. Resources : http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=Vb0MbA35JFU My other shot is from the TV serial “The Big Bang Theory”. In that particular shot we see three characters.The guy, the girl with the white top and the other girl wearing green. First of all we can see the wall light set next to the door that the guy was knocking.

There was another two cameras were set for the key and fill light to make sure his expression and body language is noticeable for the viewers and the stairs stay dark. There was 2 red heads for that. In the following shot we can see the guys face and the background. They used a Fresnel light from inside the room to the guy and a strong redhead in the out side to the girl as we can see the sharp edge on the hair.The light that used for the background is a Fresnel light with some diffusion jells. In the next cut of their conversation where we can see inside of her room; probably a simple room light is been used. In the next shot where the whole corridor is visible, they use few numbers of lights.

There is two redheads for the guy and the girl. Then there is a fill light above their head to cover the corridor, then one light on the wall. They used two different light behind the door. The light that coming from under the door is a redhead and the other one that situated on the right side is also a redhead with diffuser.In the next shot they add a light on the stairs to make is visible to the audience and give the scene depth. They had to take few shots to complete that scene and also they play with lights quite a bit. As we see at the beginning there was no light in the stairs but few shots after the stairs became visible.

In the whole scene they were perfectly create the atmosphere of the corridor and the apartment doors. The way the set the lights made the characters different from the background and sometimes create the depth as well.

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