"If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed..." STANLEY KUBRIC

Film Lighting

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Lighting, along with focus and framing add up to the visual vocabulary used in filmic storytelling. Film lighting is not so much a distinct visual style as an artistic choice that helps tell the story.

Traditionally, shooting on film has been technically more challenging than shooting video because film stocks need to be exposed properly, and proper film exposure requires lots of light. Film lighting specialists, known as cinematographers or directors of photography (D.P.s), have taken advantage of the limitations of film and turned them into ways of precisely controlling the final image.

Cinematographers do more than use lots of lights, they use special equipment to control the path of the light, the quality of the lights, the brightness of the lights, and the color of the lights. The amount of light coming from every light source is meticulously measured with a light meter in order to achieve the desired contrast ratio between the lights and shadows. By controlling these elements, the cinematographer is able to direct the viewer’s eye within the frame.

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