November 25, 2016 at 1:32PM


Lighting for Short film

How to shoot a short film with natural lighting?


If you have good natural lighting, which means it is not too harsh, and it naturally separates your subject from your background, than it does not matter whether your film is 120 minutes long or 2 minutes will have a good shot. If your natural lighting is harsh or if it falls equally on your subject and the background, you will end up with something that is either ugly, a muddle, or both. That will turn off viewers and cause them to lose interest, even if the film is very short.

November 25, 2016 at 4:00PM, Edited November 25, 4:00PM


I suggest getting a book called "Painting with Light" by John Alton. While it's quite old, techniques haven't really changed. There's several sections on outdoor photography as well as one dedicated just to vacation photography, which lends itself to run & gun shooting.
Alton was the highest paid DP in his time. Most of his work was for B-movies, but he got such good looks so quickly, hiring Alton at his high price meant getting a production done under budget and on time.

November 26, 2016 at 12:27PM


Generally cloudy skies will give better light that daytime sun; clouds diffuse things and soften the light, thus avoiding harsh shadows and allowing more of the scene's dynamic range to fit within your exposure.

July 17, 2019 at 6:39AM

Joseph Walker

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