There are a range of reasons why you might want to achieve moody lighting. Sometimes, it’s the look you’re going for. Other times, you may find yourself shooting in a messy or ugly environment where you want to “hide” the background by simulating a moody setting. Even if you find yourself in a well-lit situation, you can still achieve a moody, dark shot with these techniques.
Gina and Valerie chat about the steps you need to take to get artistic, moody shots in any situation. You’ll learn heaps from this episode!
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What is low key lighting?
- High contrast
- Low lighting
- First introduced by the Italians e.g. Da Vinci in the 15th Century
- Film noir movies 1930’s and 40’s
“Film Noir (literally ‘black film or cinema’) was coined by French film critics (first by Nino Frank in 1946) who noticed the trend of how ‘dark’, downbeat and black the looks and themes were of many American crime and detective films released in France to theatres following the war, such as The Maltese Falcon (1941), Murder, My Sweet (1944), Double Indemnity (1944), The Woman in the Window (1944), andLaura (1944)”
The Third Man
- Da Vinci’s Last Supper
- Paintings of Caravaggio during the late 16th century.
Chiaroscuro Italian term
chiaro meaning clear or light
scuro meaning dark, sombre, moody
How to achieve low key in photography
- Low key lighting works when you have a brightly lit subject against a darker background.
- Exposing for detail in the highlights means that everything else in the picture is underexposed
- Detail in highlights
- Eliminate ambient light
Look for high contrast scenes
Very fast shutter speed
Sunlit people objects against something in the shade
Expose for highlights
Adjust aperture to control exposure
All image of Pugsly below are shot by Gina Milicia
How to use your histogram
How do you know when your image is completely black?
Your histogram has flatlined.