Good and appropriate lighting enhances the mood of the different scenes in a film. Also, it tells the viewers about the scene. In fact, it affects the viewers’ perception immediately. Different kinds of lighting methods are used in a film depending on its genre, mood, characters involved, etc. Moreover, good lighting adds to the drama and impact of the scene. So, here are some basics about good lighting.
Quality of Light
It’s important to remember that the hardness and softness of light affect the mood of a scene dramatically. So what is hard and soft light? Soft light is achieved when the light source is diffused and is larger than the subject. As a result, the elements in the frame appear more mellow and casts shadows with soft edges. On the other hand, hard light is achieved when the light source is distant or small. This results in an image with deep shadows and high contrast.
The key light is the most important light source that the cameraman or the cinematographer will use.
High key aims to reduce the lighting ratio of a scene. Hence, high key lighting results in images with minimal shadows and low contrast. Sitcoms and comedies use this kind of lighting. Moreover, High Key technique makes the frame look good from every angle and gives a happy feeling to it.
Low-key setups give images with high contrast and dark shadows in it. This creates a sense of fear and tension. It’s used in horror scenes and drama films.
The ability to use these techniques to a film’s advantage results in good lighting that can influence the minds of the viewers.
High Contrast and Low Contrast
Contrast is the ratio between the light and dark parts of an image.
High Contrast images have a full range of tones which include bright highlight areas to dark shadow areas. In these types of photos, you would see a lot of vibrant colors and textures. It might feel very happy and interesting to look at.
On the other hand, Low Contrast images have a lighter and shallower range of tones in it. Also, these images might not exhibit much difference between its lights and darks. So, Low Contrast images might sometimes look very dull and flat. A photo captured on a foggy day is a good example of a Low Contrast image. But, this certainly doesn’t mean that Low Contrast setups should be avoided. Sometimes, these might look really appealing for a particular scene with a particular mood.
Also, these differences in contrast range(High Contrast and Low Contrast) can immensely alter the mood of a scene. To achieve good lighting, sometimes you need to try different methods on one particular scene.
Color schemes can change the look and feel of a scene dramatically. Good lighting experts study the requirements of a scene and decide on the colors.
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Source credits: Wikipedia, www.videomaker.com, blog.pond5.com, www.photographyvox.com, www.photocritic.org