Hey! Was practicing some lighting and would appreciate if someone would like to give some feedback on this shot.The focus was mostly to get the lighting correct and good looking.

It's meant to be a seedy bar environment during the night but inside the bar the lights would be a bit dimmed but turned on to give the room some overall lighting, we did not want it to be to dark. We tried to create some depth with the door to the left of the character.

And we also tried to make 4 layers of dark, bright, dark and bright. With the red side of the face being in shadow, the blue side being bright, the wall being dark and then the doorway being bright and with the returning red color.  

So what do you think of the overall lighting, colors and so on?

Thanks.

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Hi there. Atmosphere definitely looks good. I can get the bar feel. Not much top light on his hair, and one might expect bar lighting to come from overhead. But it gives a nice feel and some depth.

But there is something very important about film lighting that you need to pay attention to. It is that the brightest thing in the frame draws the eye and therefore the attention. In this frame the character's shirt is the brightest part, and his hair is dimly lit, so the attention is drawn downwards. If you put a little more light onto his face, so a tiny spotlight for example, that would focus the viewer's attention on the character himself. It's very little that is needed, but just look at the character's forehead, which is not much lit. Maybe it is just a matter of pointing the blue light a bit more at his face than his shirt.

I think that films that neglect this tend to give an impression of being a bit vague - by which I mean that the audience is usually not aware of how the filmmaker is directing  their attention, but is conscious of something missing when it is not done. 

The other thing that you might consider is backlighting, where a light is shone onto the back of the character's head, to brighten the edges of the person's outline and separate them from the background. Again it would probably need to be very subtle, but this is another way of telling the audience subliminally that this is the important thing in the frame.

Hope that helps.

Thanks alot, I'm noting everything down. Looking at it now, I agree that the shirt is to bright and that the light should be more on his face. And maybe that the shot is still a bit to dark. We tried to backlight him a bit more but it took away to much of the red shadow on his face.

Our light setup is a bit limited but when you try this stuff out you kind of realize what lights you miss and need to get. But as you can see we did try out some filters that we bought.



Simon Tytherleigh said:

Hi there. Atmosphere definitely looks good. I can get the bar feel. Not much top light on his hair, and one might expect bar lighting to come from overhead. But it gives a nice feel and some depth.

But there is something very important about film lighting that you need to pay attention to. It is that the brightest thing in the frame draws the eye and therefore the attention. In this frame the character's shirt is the brightest part, and his hair is dimly lit, so the attention is drawn downwards. If you put a little more light onto his face, so a tiny spotlight for example, that would focus the viewer's attention on the character himself. It's very little that is needed, but just look at the character's forehead, which is not much lit. Maybe it is just a matter of pointing the blue light a bit more at his face than his shirt.

I think that films that neglect this tend to give an impression of being a bit vague - by which I mean that the audience is usually not aware of how the filmmaker is directing  their attention, but is conscious of something missing when it is not done. 

The other thing that you might consider is backlighting, where a light is shone onto the back of the character's head, to brighten the edges of the person's outline and separate them from the background. Again it would probably need to be very subtle, but this is another way of telling the audience subliminally that this is the important thing in the frame.

Hope that helps.

I like to ping up the edges with a bit of backlighting too.  

Not sure if the shot is too dark. This is where it all becomes a matter of judgment. If you want a seedy, late-night bar feel, then having the background quite dim is fine. The lighting on the figure is essentially separate, different in colour as well as intensity. As I said before, it might help to suggest more directional light for him, to indicate that he is standing at a bar perhaps. If he is supposed to be sitting at a table, you would need to consider how a table lamp or overhead light would throw the light.

With backlighting, it should be very subtle, and may need more than just barn doors to stop overspill. I recommend using black aluminium foil designed for lighting use. Although costly to buy it lasts a long time and can be reused a lot.

e.g.: https://www.stagedepot.co.uk/lighting/gel-kits-accessories/cinefoil...

Just my 2 cents: I've been to a lot of seedy bars in my life and I never saw a blue light in any of them. My suggestion is you use different but warmer colors, maybe orange, yellow, magenta, etc. Or at least a green.

I suppose you could to a little field research! Go to a few bars, check their lights. Good luck trying to explain that to the wife tho.

Actually we took some inspiration from the new King Kong trailer, where Tom Hiddlestone sits in a bar with blue and red/pink light. Thought that light looked cool but it's probably not very realistic.

But I agree, when I think bar I also think warm colors, like orange.

Daniel Wernëck said:

Just my 2 cents: I've been to a lot of seedy bars in my life and I never saw a blue light in any of them. My suggestion is you use different but warmer colors, maybe orange, yellow, magenta, etc. Or at least a green.

I suppose you could to a little field research! Go to a few bars, check their lights. Good luck trying to explain that to the wife tho.

I insist you must visit lots of bars for reference...

I was just watching 'Sicario', where there is a bar with exactly the same blue foreground lighting and red/orange background.

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