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Creating shadows first


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#1 Nor Domingo

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 05:09 PM

I've heard a lot of cinematographers saying their first step in lighting a scene is to "create the shadows first". What do they mean exactily?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 05:19 PM

I've never heard that phrase.

What you do hear is "the most important lights are the ones you don't turn on" (i.e. don't overlight.) Shadows, contrast, etc. are all important but you can't create a shadow without a light!
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#3 Nor Domingo

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 05:59 PM

I've never heard that phrase.

What you do hear is "the most important lights are the ones you don't turn on" (i.e. don't overlight.) Shadows, contrast, etc. are all important but you can't create a shadow without a light!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi david! Thanks for replying so quickly. I may have used the wrong term(CREATE instead of CAST.

In Chapter three of REFLECTIONS, Stephen Burum writes, "Everyone does one of three things everytime they light a set. The first thing is to cast a shadow." Then he moves on to the second which is to create separation and lastly, to add fill.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 06:10 PM

In Chapter three of REFLECTIONS, Stephen Burum writes, "Everyone does one of three things everytime they light a set.  The first thing is to cast a shadow." Then he moves on to the second which is to create separation and lastly, to add fill.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Well, to be correct, the FIRST thing is turning on the light, the SECOND thing that happens (nearly simultaneously of course) is that the light hits an object and creates a shadow. What Burum is trying to explain is that every light on a subject creates a shadow, so the placement of the light is critical and then how you want to deal with that shadow is important. He's basically talking about working around the key and what it does and how to modify it (as opposed to trying to light the key, fill, and everything else simultaneously).

And to not be afraid of shadows...

It's sort of like the law of cause and effect. Every light source creates a shadow, so you have to consider both the light and the shadow.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 08:37 PM

Hi,

This means a lot to me - usually I don't have to get a single piece of equipment out to go "Ah, it's overcast; no shadows here, then."

Big problem.

Phil
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