Cinematography Lighting Test 01


Today was an experiment using all the lighting techniques we have already learnt and to put them into practice. This document is to support the footage with explanations of the process and final design.


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  • We Build a set using two wooden boards; one acting as the window and the other as a wallpapered wall.
  • After the set was built we set up our key light. This would act as moonlight coming through the window that would light our actor from ‘upstage’

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  • As the lighting was getting on we had a few crew members ready to rig light reflectors
  • Another two positioned the camera, we already had our story in mind but this was the time to frame everything nicely

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  • With the use of two 650w funnels we now had successfully lit the window and had our key light
  • The blinds both added for affect and as a filter to soften the light

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  • Our film set with just the key light and the set with other assorted lights

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  • The settings on the camera were now being set, as we were shooting a night sequence the white balance was set to fennel and our lens angle to 172 degrees

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  • Protective gear was used to handle the lights
  • Parts of the set would now be moved so as the camera had the set and just the set in focuss

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  • Our key light looked great but we now carried out a series of tests to see what we could come up with; one being to add a fill light

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  • The set was now picking up and was starting to look a lit room with filmic qualities

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  • The fill light was now set up and our members decided on the use of a reflector. Gold was chosen to cause a white reflected light as a warm light to spoilt the moonlight key light we were working on


  • Our set as it was at this point; actor in place, still decisions of reflectors and blue gel about to be put onto the key lights


  • Gels and filters being put on


  • We now had a nice cold blue light that was seeping through the blinds and now we could really make a decision on the choice of reflectors. The reflector on the left would act to pick up the detail in the actors face while the one on the right would act to fill light in areas that needed to be highlighted i.e. set and lit side of actor’s face


  • Now it was time to see what the camera was picking up. At this point we still had issues with the actors face and wanted to light it right while maintaining the shadow that would fall toward camera


  • One way we did this was to add a flat to half the beam of reflected light from the fill light. This would angle the light toward the actors face and not the set


  • The set was now lit appropriately and it was time for some shots. A master shot was taken as well as a number of close ups and medium shots. We stuck to the 180 degree camera rule and had the use of some magnifications that would screw onto our lenses to give us more option


  • Then was the duty of taking everything down and packing up


This was a brilliant lighting test as we had a routine that we stuck to and tackled any problems that occurred during the shoot. I learned a number of skills and bit of information that would help me in the future. One would be the process of ‘painting from the dark’ which basically means you get rid of all light sources from a room by tenting, this is so you can create your lighting from scratch in a controlled environment. Also the process of starting with a key light and working from that is a process that seems to be effective.

The other being these magnification add-on lenses which can connect to a lens and one an other to give magnifications of;  x2; x4; x5 and x8. They would great as they do not change your lens angel but have a limited focus length.

I also learned about controlling beams of light with processes I would have not at first imagined. There is the process with reflectors of bouncing the light or even bouncing reflective light to come up with a range of different techniques to create a pallet of conditions. The other was the use of matte box to block a beam of light or to stop light causing lens flares inside the camera. Very fascinating.

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