The influence that variable forms of light and shadow have on our subconscious and emotions can be spellbinding. Take a look around you next time you're at a museum, a café, a brewery or the forest. Take it in and pay special attention to light sources in those locations. Observe the direction of the light and consider how it impacts the tone of the space. How would you put it to words? How would moving the source of the light change your feeling of the space? Or change the words you would use to describe it?
Begin with a color palette, explore the full range of the color spectrum and how it affects us psychologically or spiritually. Discover the overall tone of the story, script or message and pair that with a fresh vision all its own. Be innovative with how certain scenes may benefit from variations in exposure and contrast.
We could wax poetic for many more pages, but we'd rather just share an example. Take a look at this lighting exercise we recently drummed up.
Time and control is art's playground and will yield greater results on your investment, every time.
The Final Product
EL AMANTE DEL CIGARRO
Director Cassidy Bisher, Cinematographer Craig Harmer, 1st AC Quinton Rodriguez and Camera Intern Alicia Kent took a trip down to Grand River Cigar in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The owners graciously let us come in and capture some footage on our Red Epic using the Red Pro 18-85mm T2.9 Zoom Lens, a popular rental here at DropDrop Studios.
Behind the Scenes Photos
The Lighting Set Up
Pretty simple 2-light approach. Our key was a 1k open-face tungsten chimera through an additional 4x4 full silk frame. This was further brought down on a dimmer to warm up the subject a little more. The 2nd light was a 750w open-face tungsten on a c-boom with a 12"x18" silk, again also on a dimmer to warm as needed. Couple of extra flags on the 750 to get the cut a little more focused.
The practicals in the space were adjusted a lot as well to get the contrast ratio where we wanted it, then we waited a while as the sun was setting to get the light through the windows just right. The footage was mastered to 4K in resolve to give it a look that would feel a bit more intimate, with a slight bit of a slide film color approach.
The thoughts and ideas from this New Perspectives blog entry were inspired from the book Film Lighting.