05 - Lighting the Way: My Cinematography Journey
As a photographer, I often find myself drawn to cinematography and lighting. I love the way that light can be used to create mood and atmosphere in a scene. I often find myself experimenting with different lighting techniques and camera angles, and I think that this has helped me to become a better photographer. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of cinematography as it can affect the mood, atmosphere, and even the story of a film. Good lighting can make a scene more visually interesting and can help to set the tone for a film.
Recently, I have been setting aside a few hours every week to work on learning new cinematography lighting skills. I usually set up a small shot somewhere in my house and try to replicate a lighting example from an existing film that I find on shotdeck or filmgrab.
My most recent test includes a small scene that was setup in my living room. I mixed a few colour temperatures by using blue lighting to simulate moonlight or 'night light' through the window and a contrasting warm light from the practical (lamp). The same effect can be achieved with a continuous light, softbox modifier and a few colour gels.
The subtle fill lighting is coming from a set of small RGB led lights just off camera. These handy lights were found on AliExpress for less than $20. They aren't going to produce Bladerunner 2042 or Dune results but at least it's a starting point.
From this experiment I learned that lighting can be very important in setting the overall mood for a scene, and that it can take some time to get the lighting just right. My experiment took about an hour of planning and prep while the shooting was relatively simple to achieve.
In my opinion all photographers should definitely explore the world of cinematography. It can be a great way to learn more about light and how to use it to create mood and atmosphere. It's also a fantastic tool for learning more about composition and how to capture movement and action.
I'll be creating new cinematography tests every month. To stay in the loop check out my TikTok and Instagram!