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Dumb Side Key


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#1 Jeremy Nielsen

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 10:15 AM

Is this a concept that is common. Have others heard of it?
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 01:31 PM

Is this a concept that is common. Have others heard of it?


If I'm understanding the terminology correctly, it just means that you've placed your key on the side of the camera that the talent is looking away from. In other words, in a "normal" situation, if the talent is on the left side of frame looking to the right side of the lens, I'd place my key light on the right side of camera.

"Dumb side" would do the opposite, by placing the light on the left side of camera. It lights up the side of face that is facing camera instead of having it be darker as in the other situation.

It's just a look...a choice. I don't particularly care for it and I don't think most others do either, but if there is a good creative reason, then go for it. :)
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 01:55 PM

I've seen it work sometimes; a few women's faces actually look better that way, but not always. I tend to use it when it's the logical direction for the source to come from, like two people facing each other but a campfire is in the foreground rather than behind them.

Sometimes it's hard to avoid when you want a single-source look but two people are going to be kissing, let's say, and you don't want their hair and faces to block the key light as happens when it's coming from the opposite side of their bodies than the camera position.
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The Slider

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