Monday, 2 April 2012

36 To Light or Not to light

When Eki, Antti and I go out on a shoot, they take masses of equipment. I always wonder what all the stuff is. Part of it is lights and reflectors. They spend quite a lot of time setting up the shot to make the subject (victim) look good. Here´s what I´ve learned from watching.

El Gaucho de Högsåra (2000)
Backlighting is good. Shooting in front of a window (most of the time) is bad. They try to show the subjects (especially if they´re not young and beautiful) in a good soft light. Usually the right amount of space between the camera and subject is about eight feet (Eki and Antti are also very conscious of background: does it look busy, confused?)

Pro lighting is a major ingredient in a broadcast quality product. In big-time movies and on still sets they might spend hours getting it right. But when I´m making a Homemade and on my own I don´t have  the time or the right stuff. So I make do. Light a lamp on the subject (the artist Cindy Sherman, who currently has a big one-woman show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York did this when she first started out and didn´t have to resources to buy equipment) Or I use natural light and hope that Eki can correct it in the edit. But when I compare what they do and what I do, I can see why they are both in hot demand.

Lesson 38: Your subject will love you if you light his/hers best side

Next week: 38 The Runaround 

PS: a sore throat kept me in bed, and made me miss the casting call for the Lone Ranger. Whaaaaa!

PS2, a note from from Eki: In the above image from Tryggve's interview, the natural light was great as is, no artificial light added.

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