Understanding low lit scenes
Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:18 PM
example: light subject, ambient meter says 5.6 (middle gray) then stop down 2 stops to dark gray?
any help would be much appreciated
Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:34 PM
Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:10 PM
i.e. for simplicities sake, imagine you take an incident meter reading under the light that is illuminating your subject, and it reads a T4.0 Then you take a reading in your shadow areas, the darker parts of the room where light isn't falling directly, and it reads a T2.8. Thats only a stop difference, so your shadows won't really be that deep, and especially if you are shooting film, you will still be seeing plenty of detail.
Using this as an example, how the scene looks is about controlling that ratio. In the example above there is only twice as much light (one stop difference) between your subject and your shadows. I don't know exactly what the differences in those movies you mentioned, some could be manipulated in post for sure, but just consider that for the effect you talk about, you need a high contrast ratio between your subject and the shadows.
Hope this helps, good luck
Posted 18 November 2008 - 11:48 PM
One thing that Storaro does a lot in that movie is he'll rimlight people in dark scenes and then fill just enough to get detail so we can see performances. Now quite often, those rims are overexposed but you don't really think they're too bright or that the scene is bright because they are such a small part of the frame.
That brings me to a rule of sorts, though we all know that rules are only there to be broken. In general, the smaller someone is in frame in a dark scene, the brighter you will want to light them.
See this example from Road to Perdition. Notice how different the levels of light are between the wide and the tighter shot.
Now in the first image, everything in that hanging light is definitely lit over key. It goes to more of a correct exposure in the tighter shot. Both shots have the overall impression of a dark room and they cut together well.
Posted 19 November 2008 - 04:37 AM