directing the eyes

Directing the eyes is process of guiding the viewers eyes through a shot. Why? To ensures they won’t miss any story relevant information. The guiding starts at the most important element and works its way down to the least important one. Getting the viewers eyes to look at the most important element has to happen […]

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Separation in cinematography describes a visual contrast between at least two elements in a scene for example between actor and set, between different actors or between foreground and background elements to name just a few. Good separation is a essential technique to get a clear read of the scene and help the audience to focus […]

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Depth, which is closely connected to separation, describes the dimensionality of a shot. Usually a shot should have a foreground, mid-ground and background to produce a 3 dimensional image. This dimensionality adds clarity to the frame and separates story relevant elements for example an actor in the foreground from a building in the background. There […]

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eye trace

Eye trace is a editing technique to direct the viewers eye across consecutive shots. A classic example of eye trace would be an arrow shot from left to right. The viewers eye is tracking the arrow through the frame from the left to the right side and anticipates an impact from the arrow on the […]

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sense of motion

Sense of motion describes the readability of anyone or anything that moves through space. Like a person walking through a room, a car driving along a street, a bird flying through the sky. Basically anything that travels from A to B. In order to get a clear read through lighting lights can be for example […]

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practical lights

Practical lights are light sources that are visible in the shot. They can have a variety of purposes like adding depth or to justify that the light in the scene is coming from this light sources. On this page i will focus on the latter and will cover the former on the page about ‘depth’. […]

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lighting continuity

Lighting continuity is about the creative choice to maintain or willingly not maintain lighting consistency throughout a sequence of shots. The reason behind deliberately ignoring lighting continuity is to achieve better lighting. Its that simple. Needless to say that there should be a good reason not to maintain continuity. A couple of examples were continuity […]

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tying shots together

A lot of techniques discussed so far revolve around a single shot like readability, separation, depth and so on. Tying shots together includes at a minimum 2 consecutive shots in the edit. The shots are connected via lighting so both shot have e.g. a blue light in common like demonstrated in the example below. There […]

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Lighting logic describes whether or not the lighting in a scene makes sense. Considering that film making is in a lot of cases a big illusion there is not really a distinct line of what makes sense and what doesn’t. Its is more a question to disobey certain limitations e.g. sunrise is always in the […]

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Preparation plays a vital role in film making even more so if you film on location. The better the pre-production the smoother the actual production will be. Preparation in CG is often overlooked. CG offers the great ‘advantage’ that a lot of changes, even big ones, can be made easily until the last minute. Half […]

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review shots

Reviewing shots is the process of analyzing your current lighting work. Like an artist who is stepping back from the canvas to get a sense for the overall picture. Reviewing your own shots, shots you are working on for days maybe weeks, is anything but a easy task. The longer you work on them the […]

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online resources



YouTube Channels

Various YouTube videos covering cinematography related topics:

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