Lighting for Danger: Cinematography Techniques You Should Know

There is a lot of content out there showing you how to light various scenes, but if you want to push yourself — really push yourself — behind-the-scenes footage of high-end cinematography can teach you a lot.

It's important to first note that the tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment in this video ought not to be your focal point. While they do add to the production value and final video, they're not relevant to a lot of what this video both directly and indirectly teaches you. 

Dictating the mood, whether stills photography or high-end cinematography, can be done in a number of ways. The two that I always reach for, and that are central for most cinema, are lighting and color. Between how you light your scene and subject and what color palette you choose, you can dictate so much information, subtly. A low-key, blue scene will give a vastly different impression to a brighter picture with warmer tones. And as this video shows, you needn't be shy about using less natural colors to achieve an eye-catching appearance.

This video has a great selection of tips you may not know, particularly when it comes to shooting commercial-grade video. For example, tip four points out that if you're working with reflective objects (like a car and its windows), you need to have a large light source or the scene will look unusual and unnatural — a piece of knowledge you wouldn't have unless you bumped into it by accident or had been told beforehand.

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Steve Powell's picture

Been following Valentina for awhile. She puts out some good stuff.

Sidney M's picture

"There is a lot of content out there showing you how to light various scenes.."
To be honest, I don't think there is. Who/where are the go-tos ?