The Key is Control: Learn How to Sculpt Hard Light to Add More Dimension & Contrast
Light is a great storyteller, but if we don't know how to utilize it to its full potential, the opportunity to tell more robust, dimensional stories can be missed.
Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut shares some advanced lighting techniques for adding dimension to a scene by shaping hard light. In the tutorial below, Hurlbut shows us how to mold and manipulate light from a 1K fresnel to create a window pattern against a wall, creating a lot of contrast, a lot of dimension, and a lot more character. Check it out below:
And here's the lighting schematic:Surely those of you who are professional cinematographers or grips will get a lot out of a tutorial that shows you how to shape light with gear you're most likely familiar with. However, for those of you who don't work (or have never worked) in a professional studio with expensive gear, there's still plenty to learn.
The important thing to remember here, for beginners especially, is the concept of not only producing light, but controlling it. Hurlbut explains this when he talks about how the window pattern alone won't create depth, but with the help of carefully placed black floppies:
Shaping light can add a 3D quality to your image -- This cannot be done with just firing a light through some pieces of tape. It has to be controlled and manicured so that the contrast and shadow are obtained in a way that gives you that wonderful three dimensional quality.
Do you know any techniques that help sculpt light to give it a more dimensional look? Let us know down in the comments!