Importance Of Lighting
Suppose you are working on an important project in the middle of a room and the light goes out!
In a world without lights, nothing would be possible, and you would go out of your mind. You wouldn’t be able to do any of your work, you wouldn’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to eat, and god knows what else! There are many things that are affected by it, not only your routine but also other things as well. You can’t imagine an office without lights, a big hall without lights, or even a set for a movie without any light at all.
Have you ever thought about how important lighting is in your life? It actually brings that extra touch to every living and nonliving thing.
Also, if we look at the film production department from a work perspective, everything depends a great deal on the lighting they are able to produce. Creating a compelling story in a film is about conveying the right information to the audience. The purpose of being able to make sense of what is happening is to be able to understand what exactly is the plan.
Lighting is one of the most important elements of a story that makes it easy to distinguish between the foreground and the background. The result of this is that the viewer’s attention is subconsciously drawn to the most important area of the frame and not to the rest of it.
SHORT FILM LIGHTING CONSIDERATIONS
Lighting decisions involve at least four factors: position, brightness, quality and colour.
Light Position – In order to position light correctly, it is necessary to adjust the length, direction, and angle of the shadows cast by a particular instrument.
Brightness – Happy or upbeat scenes are lit with high-key lighting. The opposite of high-key lighting is low-key lighting. Shadows are used more than illumination in this film, creating drama and suspense.
Lighting Equality – Hard light draws attention to wrinkles and creases on a face. It can make a subject appear strong, weathered, or wicked. Harsh lighting can intimidate a subject. The shadow edge of soft lighting is broad and gradual, and the shadow is faint. It flatters the face better. Concealing wrinkles and hiding lines in the face makes people appear more friendly and approachable.
Colourcase – Using gelled light can totally change the look of your photos, or you can tweak the colour.
NATURAL LIGHTING vs. ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING
What we understand about natural lighting means that, the light that contains all colours of the rainbow. When you sit outside and get a good source of light it helps you and your body with wanting healthy aspects. As well as affecting our day-night rhythm, the light also affects our vitamin D levels. As a result, it helps us absorb calcium from food. For bone formation and stability, we need calcium.
But what does artificial lighting mean?
We are almost at the end of the road! It is important to note that artificial light is different from natural daylight as it is a visible light generated by artificial light sources, and it usually contains some IR and UV radiation as well(most LEDs do not emit IR or UV).
In most cases, when making a short film, we have heard about the use of natural and artificial lighting. When we talk about Ad films or short films, the perception of lighting equipment always comes to mind. It is necessary to use proper lighting while shooting an Ad using a product, a documentary, or short film.
Nowadays, most people don’t think about such things and use the equipment at their disposal to create the best visual materials. In the past, shooting video without lights and other equipment was almost unimaginable.
TYPES OF LIGHTING
Are there any film scenes that you love more than natural looking ones?
It is not uncommon for production houses to display a beautiful set up that depicts how a short film or documentary could have been made. Or else, a scene can be filmed.
It is quite likely that you have heard about these types of lighting if you are a filmmaker or a woman from a filmmaking background. Let’s have a look at this again in order to have a better understanding of what is going on.
- Key lighting – Known as the main film light being placed on the object
- Fill Lighting – It allows you to remove shadowy areas caused by your key light
- Back Lighting – In a three-point lighting setup, backlighting creates a three-dimensional scene. You can also separate your subject from the background a little higher.
- Side Lighting – Brightening your subject from the side
- Practical Light – Light sources used for practical lighting include lamps, candles, and even television sets.
- Hard Lighting – Lighting emphasises contours, shapes, and textures. Hard lighting intensifies the look.
- Soft Lighting – By using soft light, you can minimise shadows, wrinkles, and blemishes.
- Bounce Lighting – Bouncing a light from a plank of sheet(thermocol or others)
- High Key – Often close to overexposure, high key lighting is extremely bright with no shadows.
- Low Key – For moody or noir-style scenes, lighting should be low-key
Setting up the lights is the most important as well as the prioritised work. Traditionally, three-point lighting uses light sources from three distinct positions to illuminate a subject in a scene.
A Key Light
There is no restriction on the type of lighting setup that can use this light, regardless of how bright or how dark it is or where the scene is to be shot. It is necessary to understand the key definition of light in order to manipulate light in order to achieve various moods.
It is the key light that is used by a cinematographer in order to expose the film. There are many aspects of key light photography, but one of the most important is exposing and highlighting the shapes, dimensions, and forms of the subject and the atmosphere of a photograph.
A Fill Light
Well, while defining a short film or a movie production, you might have come across this term. Shooting portraits is the best time when these lights are used.
As an alternative to direct sunlight or a light bulb filled with light, fill lights are used instead. It is possible to minimise the apparent contrast of an image when a fill light is used, thereby matching the dynamic range of that film and adding the same level of detail as the natural light in film, photography, and television.
Backlight can be used in a variety of ways to achieve different effects, but in most cases the positioning is the same for all of them. Having a good understanding of what backlighting is will help you incorporate it into your next lighting setup in an easier and more effective way.
By utilising the backlights in an effective manner, a photographer can create an interesting, dynamic shot with a lot of depth to it.
The use of backlighting in any form can be found in almost every cinematic shot, elevating amateur shots to a level of professionalism.
COLOUR TEMPERATURE AND GELS
Light sources are characterised by their colour temperature. All white balance and colour correction and colour grading begin with light temperature.
Let us understand this more precisely.
Understanding how colour temperature affects our shots is crucial. Additionally, it affects how colours are balanced across every surface in our scenes. When we record images, we want objects that appear white in reality to appear white in recorded images, and if white is balanced correctly, all other colours will be too.
Camera White Balance
The camera needs to be informed every time there is a change in light so that it can determine what colour the light is that illuminates your scene. If you have a recording format other than RAW, you can use this setting to permanently determine the “white balance” or “colour temperature” of your recorded image.
The importance of getting this right is paramount, since if you make a mistake during the editing process, you may not be able to fix it in post-production.
In the case of recording RAW sensor data, the in-camera white balance setting is only going to have an impact on how you view your image; it will be saved as metadata, but it won’t affect the recorded image data.
It is possible to control the colour temperature when you record in RAW when you edit it in post-production.
Colour temperature adjustment using gels
There is a wavelength of light in white light that is the same as daylight which is produced by flashes and studio lights. Using this tool, it is possible to capture and reproduce accurately the skin tones of commercial products and portrait subjects.
With a coloured globe, you will not be able to change the colour of your lighting in any way. By covering the flash or strobe with a gel filter, it is possible to modify the colour of the light that is produced by the flash or strobe. Therefore, you will be able to customise the style of any project by doing such a thing.
Lighting gels are sheets of translucent plastic that can be reused in the photography and filmmaking industries. Furthermore, there are also coloured gels that are not colour-correction gels, as well as neutral density gels that reduce the intensity of the light without affecting the colours of the image.
Do you know, quite a few people understand that lighting in a film is simply a technical element used in order to make the shot visible.
It should be noted that if you have watched more than a few films, you will find that every frame of every scene appears different regardless of the camera angle, the actors, or the setting.
The main difference between the two is, as you might have guessed, largely a result of the lighting element that dominates both. It is not only important to use it to create gorgeous-looking scenes in a film, but it is also significant to use it in order to create a mood for the film.
Till now, you might have got a fair idea about how a lighting process goes while making short films.
Let us now learn about different lighting effects that can affect the mood of a short film.
The purpose of this type of lighting is to make sure whatever is captured on camera is visible, and to focus on one or more subjects. The three-point lighting setup balances shadows and highlights for a less dramatic look. A key light, a back light, and a fill light make up the setup.
Often, ambient lighting is referred to as natural lighting or location lighting because it is the closest to a “no-filter” approach to filmmaking when it comes to lighting.
As long as the natural or provided light is used in a location, these types of light sources will tend to highlight the surroundings and the setting rather than the subject itself, when used in a location.
One of the two main types of colours that are used in lighting techniques is blue, which takes on the colours of blue, green, and grey when used in lighting techniques.
The use of such lighting is common in films such as “Paranormal Activity” and “The Matrix”, among others. It isn’t uncommon for creative decisions to look unsaturated, and the frames frequently convey a feeling of lifelessness.
We interpret a given shot differently based on how the lighting is shaped, rather than just what we see in the frame. If you do not have the right lighting setup for your short film, it can be very difficult to convey all the mood and emotion in your film.
A scene’s brightness, shadows, and colour combine to control the viewer’s emotions and direct them to follow along with the story; they all contribute to how a scene is perceived by affecting the way it is perceived. If you don’t plan your lighting properly, you risk producing flat, lifeless images.
However, studio lighting can convey all of the drama and emotion filmmakers need to convey their stories.