Posted 26 September 2008 - 07:08 AM
I don't know if I have ever sat down with it on paper in lighting scenarios on a set. After years of lighting one learns these things and they just become part of the scenario without having to think about them. For me, I know what the light does (knowing the rule and seeing it occur) so I would say it's not so much using the mathematics of it, but the practicality of it while lighting. Even when one starts out, because we see it as we do it, it becomes quite clear how light falls as you light. Where it does come more into play for me is in lighting designs such as what I do for ESPN. When you see a ESPN show like Around The Horn, or any of the sports commentaries like those of Peter Gammond or Butch Orley, you are seeing permanent remote studios that I design either in their homes or in a newsroom of a newspaper, etc. With such designs as these (I am currently doing five locations around the world for ESPN international) I have the dilemma of having to create a lighting plot to be installed by an electrician. That means I have to give someone who probably knows little about the art of film/television lighting a plot that he has to install without me being there (in some cases) and that means I have to get it right and make it draw by numbers for the installer. That involves me understanding photometric data supplied by the manufacturers well, and translating those photometric to universal measurements that he will use to know where exactly to place the fixtures so they do what I want. And in these cases, it becomes less of knowing that light falls off 4 times at twice the distance between people, and rather what is the minimum I need to make the relationship work.