Introduction

Lighting is one of the most important aspects for a good shot in the media and film industry. There are many different factors that can have an effect on how a shot is displayed to an audience and the quality of it. In my opinion it is most important to have the knowledge on how to place the lights in the best position and how they can be used most effectively.

For this task I am going to be researching the physical aspects of lighting. This will include searching where lights are best positioned in a particular scenario/situation and how they can be used to the best quality.

Type Of Research

To find out the biggest variety of trustworthy information, I will be doing both primary and secondary research. This will allow me to get the most out of my time and effort. For primary research I plan to use a light and take pictures of a subject with the light in different positions. This will give me a better idea of what a subject will look like with a light in different positions and what effect it will have on the audience. For the secondary research, I plan to search different techniques and how they can be implemented in a possible scenario or situation. I am also going to find an example of a technique and analyse what the advantages and disadvantages are of each one.

What I Found

For the secondary research that I did I found a variety of different techniques and skills that can be used for lighting a shot. The first piece of useful information that I found was from a YouTube video.

(RocketJump Film School, 2016)

The video explains how it is much easier to plan your shooting schedule and know which shots require a change in lighting positions. When having a plan it is easier to record all the shots with the same lighting positions and then record what is left after. This will save a lot of time if you have manual, heavy lights that are difficult and time consuming to move.

Next I researched where to place the equipment when trying to light a subject. I found a webpage (mediacollege.com) that explained the 3 Point Lighting Technique. It had a variety of information and showed in great detail what the technique is and what each light is used for. This gave me a good understanding of the technique and how it is used effectively. 

For my primary research I wanted to get some experience of lighting a subject. Using my tungsten office lamp, I lit my desktop space in a dark room from 3 different angles to see what each angle would look like and what would be best.

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Key Light
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Fill Light
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Back Light

 

As I only had one light to use, the key light would have been the most beneficial to work with. This is because, in post production it is easier to change the look of a shot when there is more light, therefore it would have been difficult to edit in the event that the shot had to be changed to suit the scenario or situation. However if a plan had been made and the Director/Editor was certain what kind of lighting would be needed, a fill or back light setup could have been suitable.

Conclusion

Through my research I found that lighting can be very time consuming, though when done properly and with a plan the results are most definitely worth it. As I only lit a still subject with one light in three different angles (in three individual shots) it didn’t take up a huge amount of time to set up what was needed. However in film and TV there are many lights that are involved in each and every shot which will take more time to set up and adjust to get the perfect final footage. Also in traditional media, almost every shot has moving parts to it which must be taken into consideration when planning.

A plan is very important when lighting a scene. As seen in the RocketJump Film School “Shots vs. Setups” video,  it can save a lot of time and is very effective throughout a shoot. Not only will it save time when figuring out how a shot needs to be lighted, but it will allow you to schedule the shoot ahead meaning that you can record all the footage with one lighting setup and then move on to the next. This will save a huge amount of time as the lighting setups will only need to be made and dismantled once, rather than several times which would be very time consuming.

Although the three point setup technique can be a lengthy process to setup, the final result is worth the time and input in my opinion. In both film and TV, lighting is very important and can be the difference between a perfect shot and something that isn’t very interesting to watch. This is why lighting is so important, therefore it is definitely worth the time setting up a lighting setup to work to its best capability.

Bibliography: 

mediacollege.com, Three point lighting. Available at: http://www.mediacollege.com/lighting/three-point/ (Accessed: 29 September 2016).

RocketJump Film School (2016) Shots vs. Set ups. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3yppt_h6bI (Accessed: 29 September 2016).

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