Friday, October 22, 2010

Lighting

It's tough to have to suddenly think of pictures that have great lighting. It's kind of like being put on the spot. Remember all those times someone has asked you out of nowhere to name your top ten favorite movies?



So after a good deal of searching (e.g. creative googling), I've come up with the following images:

Portraits:

All class. The lighting looks like it's head on, but it softly curves around the subject's face. Highlighting all the right places. Come on, check out those cheek bones.


In sharp contrast to the first , the lighting here actually is head on. It doesn't make the subject's face look flat at all, however. It ends up accentuating all the wrinkles and stubble beautifully. It also brings out the eyes very well, despite being in black and white.

Holy biscuits, BJ Novak couldn't look any cooler. The lighting and wardrobe choice give it a monotone look, like it's a color photo trying to be b&w.

Photography:

Natural lighting at its finest. The sun makes perfect angles with the shadows, especially with the higher ground on the right side. It adds so much depth to the picture, and a real sense of draw.


I think I have an ongoing love affair with minimalist photographs such as this one. Like the previous, there is a great sense of depth here. But the even lighting gives a great sense of scale too. You can pick out individual flowers in the foreground, but once you move back, everything becomes uniform, leaving your brain to try and comprehend just how many of those exact same flowers are out there.

Okay, yeah, it kind of creeps me out too. But I really dig that smoky soft background (possibly caused by a doorway to hell or something).

Movies:


Yeah, I know, The Road was a cripplingly depressing movie. But the lighting in it, although very minimalist, works amazingly to make every shot feel alone and desolate, even when there's multiple subjects in frame like in this screen capture. Everything looks completely glazed over and uncaring, much like Charlize Theron. Those are some stone cold eyes. Sheesh.



There's something to be said for the strategic use of very even lighting as well, as seen here in A Serious Man. The whole movie deals with Larry Gopnik's whole life becoming molten hot with conflict and consuming him. As such, everything around him begins to look the same. I'm sure the fact that his clothes match the chalkboard behind him above was a total accident though. Surely.

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