Four Lighting Techniques Used in to Create Emotion in Film

Four Lighting Techniques Used in to Create Emotion in Film

Four Lighting Techniques Used in to Create Emotion in Film

Excellent cinematography lighting is essential in any film because it creates mood, ambiance and provides the audience a feeling of meaning. In addition, lighting is an excellent method to illustrate the psychology of your film characters and produce or express emotion. True artists seek to trigger an emotional response from their audience.  Therefore, it is crucial for grip lighting technicians to understand the feeling evoked by each type of light to do a proper light setup for the scene.  These are few lighting techniques that create emotion in film.

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting fluctuates throughout the day and cannot be changed; thus, working with this style of film lighting seems tricky. The filmmaker must be aware of the surroundings and the weather changes. Before a shoot, it is a good idea to take your grip lighting equipment and cameras out to the location and evaluate how well the natural light holds up and if you require more lighting. Now that natural film lighting cannot be changed, bounce flags or cards can help you change the natural light.

Practical Lighting or Ambient Lighting

It is rare to walk into an airport or restaurant without seeing some light. While you may not have magical lighting, you will almost certainly have something like a candle, lamp, or television. We call these lighting sources "practical film lighting."  When you need to reveal large parts of the set or move around in longer takes, practical light can be helpful. Take, for instance, the film Children of Men. Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography employs natural lighting to create an increasingly paranoid and fragile sense of a first world on the point of collapse.  Not only is ambient film light convenient to use because it is already present, but it may also help generate the mood and ambiance you desire in your film. It is common practice for practical lighting to have dimmer lights.  

Hard Light or Specular Light

By a direct beam from a light source, such as sunlight, hard cinematic light creates crisp and harsh shadows. Although it is frequently avoided, it can be valuable; for example, in Film Noirs, dramatic cinematography lighting effects are desired to portray the suspicious and volatile characters. Hard light is excellent for drawing the audience's attention to something in the frame and is frequently used to create highlights and silhouettes.

Sidelight (Chiaroscuro Lighting)

Chiaroscuro, or side, lighting enters the frame from the side to spotlight the subject. Because the sidelight may cast strong shadows (if not diffused), it is ideal for creating contrast. It is frequently employed to create a dramatic mood in a scene and has gained appeal in genres such as film noir. To achieve chiaroscuro lighting, you will need a grip lighting setup to get high contrast and a low key to highlight the outlines of your subject. If you are using a sidelight to fill a scene, you might need to bounce it or deal with high-key effects.

These are some of the lighting techniques that are used to create emotion in film.  If you are looking for quality grip lighting technicians and grip equipment, contact Tiki Grip Electric to hear about how we can help you today.

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