Jump to content


Photo

Low key lighting


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 melita Schiemann

melita Schiemann

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 16 February 2008 - 09:28 AM

I am a third year degree student, currently writing my dissertation. My dissertation is going to be based around an investigation into Chiaroscuro lighting. I would really appreciate any thoughts, and comments from professionals. I am particularly keen to know why cinematographers use this style of low-key lighting and what impact you feel it has on an audience.

Many Thanks

Melita Schiemann

melita.schiemann@gmail.com
  • 0

#2 Xavier Plaza

Xavier Plaza
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 288 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Guayaquil - Ecuador

Posted 16 February 2008 - 11:55 AM

I am a third year degree student, currently writing my dissertation. My dissertation is going to be based around an investigation into Chiaroscuro lighting. I would really appreciate any thoughts, and comments from professionals. I am particularly keen to know why cinematographers use this style of low-key lighting and what impact you feel it has on an audience.

Many Thanks

Melita Schiemann

melita.schiemann@gmail.com



Wow, Hi Melita, you make an interesting question. The art of cinematography it comes inspired in great masters of paintings, they were the first people who ask how they could used the light to shape an image using the volume, the colors, the forms. In the Renaissance the constant fight between the light and the darkness becomes more evident.

Various artists in this time interpreted religious passages and they want transmit that respect to this passages using a lot of darkness in every scene, remember at this time all most everything it was around the religion... Adding Darkness create a new vision about God, saints and biblical passages that use of darkness transmitting fear to religious thing.. The church request through its archbishop paintings that represent different passages and were these those that accepted or not those paintings if they represented the Biblical passage well or he rejected them.

That's the way how painters begin to create more contrast in paintings. They use the darkness to transmit fear, solemnity, respect... That's how using paintings more and more contrasted create what now we know as Chiaroscuro


In this time Chiaroscuro transmit to the town that respect just seeing that paintings... I guess our interpretation about chiaroscuro was inherited of our ancestors. I think that's why the cinematographer use at this time Chiaroscuro to communicated something about any scenes obtaining until now that inherited interpretation ...


Rembrand and Caravaggio my two favorite paintings of each one


Hope helps



Xavier Plaza

Attached Images

  • Picture_1.jpg

  • 0

#3 Xavier Plaza

Xavier Plaza
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 288 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Guayaquil - Ecuador

Posted 16 February 2008 - 12:21 PM

Sorry i made a mistake, those two paintings are Rembrand, what i want to post was this Caravaggio

Sorry :blink:

Attached Images

  • museo_9.jpg

  • 0

#4 John Holland

John Holland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2248 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London England

Posted 16 February 2008 - 12:52 PM

The term [ Chiaroscuro] really only applies to B/W Cinematography as far as i concerned . Have you read John Altons ASC book the name escapes me but he was a master at that type of lighting .
  • 0

#5 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 16 February 2008 - 02:39 PM

The term [ Chiaroscuro] really only applies to B/W Cinematography as far as i concerned . Have you read John Altons ASC book the name escapes me but he was a master at that type of lighting .


I guess you're referring to Painting with Light?

IMO chiaroscuro doesn't apply to B&W only, as the term literally means light and dark. In color you can work with colors as well as lightness to separate and model depth. In B&W you loose the color effect and work with light & dark only.

Cheers, Dave
  • 0

#6 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 16 February 2008 - 05:50 PM

Why would chiaroscuro only apply to b&w cinematography??? All the paintings that used it were in color! It just means the use of light and shadow, particularly a preponderance of darkness in the frame to create mood and depth -- ala Gordon Willis, Vittorio Storaro, etc. I think the temple scene at the end of "Apocalypse Now" is a particular good example:

Posted Image
  • 0

#7 John Holland

John Holland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2248 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London England

Posted 17 February 2008 - 05:13 AM

i did say [ as far as i am concerned ] just a personal thing .
  • 0

#8 melita Schiemann

melita Schiemann

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 19 February 2008 - 04:40 AM

Thank you for all your feedback, its all been very useful to me. The further I look into the subject the more interesting it becomes. If you have some time would you mind answering some of the questions below?

1. What was it that first got you interested in lighting?

2. Have you ever lit anything in low key, what was it?

3. Why was the decision made to light in low key?

4. Do you think of high and low key lighting as a sign? If so what do you think the project to an audience?

5. Do you enjoy lighting things in low key?

6. Do you think its more challenging to light scenes in Low key?

This is purely for Educational purposes. If you would be interested in reading the final version, email me at: melita.schiemann@gmail.com and I?ll send you a copy.

Many thanks ?
melita
  • 0

#9 Daniel Madsen

Daniel Madsen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 201 posts
  • Student
  • Boston

Posted 19 February 2008 - 05:05 AM

Have you ever heard of Tenebrism? Tenebrism is an even more exaggerated form of chiaroscuro.
  • 0

#10 Harrison Huffman

Harrison Huffman

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:35 AM

A good example of Tenebrism.
caravaggio_stmatthew.jpg
  • 0

#11 Serge Teulon

Serge Teulon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London UK

Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:42 AM

1. What was it that first got you interested in lighting?
The mood and emotion that it creates.

2. Have you ever lit anything in low key, what was it?
Yes. Outdoors shot, night time.

3. Why was the decision made to light in low key?
Moon and camp fire.

4. Do you think of high and low key lighting as a sign? If so what do you think the project to an audience?
I think it projects several messages. As an immediate example It can create tension (Just David's ref to Apo Now) but it is all related to the story and where it is at.

5. Do you enjoy lighting things in low key?
Yes.

6. Do you think its more challenging to light scenes in Low key?
Not more challenging but certainly challenging.


Hope that helps with your papers.

Cheers
S
  • 0


rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Opal

The Slider

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Opal

The Slider

Tai Audio

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Metropolis Post