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Showing posts from August, 2017

The Lighting Tells The Story, and The Story Tells The Lighting

Those who have studied lighting - especially for theater or motion pictures, know well the mantra that "The lighting tells the story." Simply put: No matter what kind of camera or lens is used, who the actors are, or who wrote the script, it is the light that ultimately creates what we see. That is the cutting edge of the knife. However, the more I think about this, the more I would change it a bit...
"The lighting tells the story - and the story tells the lighting."
It is a reciprocal thing. The way something is lit does create emotion, and makes the viewer feel the story through their eyes. We draw conclusions and fill in details based on the way what we see is illuminated. But that moment itself must also dictate the lighting: What quality of light is needed to do the telling? Where would it be coming from? What color is this light? Is it one solid wash, or should it be broken up in mottled shadows?  All of these things are going to be determined by what story tha…

The Light on The Street is...

I love night photography. Something about a photograph made at night embodies the Cinematic. Traditional still portrait photos are shot in airy, well lit studios. Movies have night scenes on location. I want my images to look like movies. For me, that often comes down to creating the look of night, rather than capturing it using only whatever light is available and adjusting the camera accordingly.      Over the last few years, I have noticed a number of films where much of the action takes place in a night-scape lit by the orange/amber glow of sodium streetlights. While I had never been a fan of that light in real life, I decided to try my hand at creating the look for a photo project. Since using real sodium streetlights would mean either a very high (and grainy) ISO, or long, long, long shutter speeds, I determined pretty early on that I would be using flash. I will spare you all of the technical details of why using flash to replicate street light is a challenge, but I will say tha…