Various Types of Lighting Effects 1

Various Types of Lighting Effects 1

Lighting is the center point of how movies portray mood and perception.

Digital video looks different than film stock and also has different hues depending on the make or brand.

If you are wanting your digital video project to look like it is shot on film then you have to light it the same way you would when making a movie.

The look that is common in soap operas is high-key and flatly-lit and should be avoided unless it is a base aspect to the story.

Film lighting is different from video/theatrical/stage lighting although at times they do cross over.

Mood and Noir Lighting

One of the most popular techniques cinematographers use to create mood is to use a soft (diffuse) light source from the front and a strong directional light from the back, so that your subject has a ‘hot edge’.

The soft frontal light is known as the fill light; the strong light at the back is known as the backlight.



Fixture directional spotlight


An open faced lighting fixture is used to create hard light that casts hard shadows. See the adjustable shutters or flaps.


Open Faced Video Lighting


Redhead with fixtures

Redhead with fixtures

The commonly known 800W “Redhead” and 2000W “Blonde” are examples of open faced video lights.





Fresnel Lighting

Fresnel with fixtures

A Fresnel lens is a special type of lens that evens out the light and allows for the beam to be varied from flood to spot by changing the distance between the lamp/reflector unit and the lens.




Practical Lights

A practical light is any light source that will appear in the scene i.e. a table lamp, visible interior lights, even a flashlight. Mostly the existing bulbs are exchanged for those of different wattage or colour temperature (depends on the desired effect and contrast ratios within the scene).

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