Although most viewers may not be consciously aware of the lighting decisions you’ve made, people react to light on a subconscious level, so it’s important to give some thought to lighting before, during, and after filming. Subtle clues about the scene’s setting or an emotional response to the action can be conveyed to the audience through the use of lighting. The product and/or models in a commercial shot can only look their best if the lighting is just right.
Using a Tripodal Lighting Scheme
Three-point lighting is one of the most popular lighting setups for usage in film and television production. This method makes use of three sources of light to illuminate the subject from various angles: a key light, a fill light, and a backlight. The key light provides the main light and is normally positioned 45 degrees off-center from the subject. The main light casts severe shadows, which are mitigated by the fill light, which is typically positioned on the other side. Finally, the subject is set apart from the background thanks to the backlight, which is placed behind them.
Combining Bright and Subdued Light
The contrast between bright and dim light can have a dramatic effect on the atmosphere. Hard lighting is utilised to create dramatic or scary settings because of the sharp shadows and striking contrasts it produces. It comes from a single, unmediated source and is hence direct and unfiltered. Soft lighting, on the other hand, spreads out evenly across the area, diminishing the prominence of shadows while providing a softer, more pleasing illumination of figures. Diffusers and reflecting surfaces help produce this effect. If you know how to use these approaches and modify them, you can completely transform the feel of your set.
The audience can be given hints about where they should focus their attention by manipulating their perceptions of the scene through the use of appropriate lighting. On lower-budget shoots, where you might not have the money for complex, expansive sets, this can be a lifesaver. Light with more yellow and orange than white casts a cosier, more intimate mood than the harsh fluorescent lighting associated with hospitals and other institutional environments. It is possible to create the mysterious atmosphere of moonlight by using dimmer white lights with a cool bluish tinge, such as that might be utilised outside in the evening or in shady locations like a forest.
How Light Can Change Your Mood
The lighting of a scene can convey information about the setting to the audience, but it can also set an emotional tone. One of the most common techniques used to create an uneasy atmosphere and heighten the tension in a horror film is the use of flickering lights. Lighting with warmer tones conveys a sense of security and ease, whereas lighting with colder tones creates an aura of mystery. Avoid dramatic lighting that could create an incongruous mood in shots of routine settings with little emotional overtone.
Colour Temperature Management
Setting the right colour temperature for a scene’s lighting is essential since it has such a profound effect on the audience’s emotional response. Colour temperature, expressed in Kelvins (K), varies from warm (lower numbers) to cool (higher values) depending on the source of the light. The yellowish light produced by tungsten bulbs, which are commonly used indoors, has a colour temperature of about 3200K. However, the bluer colour temperature of daylight, at roughly 5600K, is much cooler. If you know how to work with colour temperature, you can create the look you want.
Light’s Aesthetic Values
When shooting for commercial purposes, such as to display a product or to stimulate attention and a favourable emotional response towards a brand, it is especially crucial to use light that flatters the subject. When filming a commercial, it’s best practise to avoid using “hard light,” or bright, unfiltered sunlight. This kind of lighting is great for setting the ambiance, but it’s not the best option when photographing models or products because it produces harsh highlights and deep, dramatic shadows.
Using Only Natural Light
When used well, natural light may be a powerful instrument. The sun is a free and beautiful light source, but it is difficult to control and must be harnessed with forethought and preparation. The “golden hours” of the day, right before sunrise or right before sunset, are ideal for shooting because of the warm, diffused light they give. To prevent harsh shadows and soften the light when shooting during the middle of the day, diffusers may be necessary.
Making Use of Realistic Lights
Lamps, candles, televisions, and even streetlights are all examples of practical illumination since they are physically present in the setting. Using realistic lighting techniques can improve the realism of a scene, enrich its depth and texture, and add to the overall mood. The lighting of a scene may have a profound effect on the mood, from the cosy glow of a table lamp in a night setting to the unsettling flicker of fluorescent lights in a hallway. Keep in mind that practical lights are rarely enough to fully illuminate a scene, but they can supplement your key, fill, and backlighting.
Maintaining Constant Lighting
Lighting continuity is one of the most difficult issues in filmmaking. When filming a scenario over several hours or days, when natural light conditions can fluctuate drastically, this is extremely crucial. Keep careful track of your lighting sets, noting the bulbs used, where they were placed, how bright they were, and what colour temperature they were. You might also try shooting your scenes in a different order depending on the light. For instance, even though the scenes calling for morning light are spread out across the script, they can all be shot at the same time. Maintaining the film’s realism and sense of continuity depends heavily on the lighting.
The “magic hour,” sometimes known as the “golden hour,” is the time right before or after sunrise or sunset when the sun is at its most diffuse and warm. The diffused light of an overcast day, especially in the early morning or late afternoon, is significantly more attractive than bright, straight sunlight when shooting outside without any lighting equipment. When firing outside, the ow