Ladybridge Film Studies: Lighting

Key terms for mise-en-scene in films

Terms in this set (...)

High key lighting
Lighting is bright in all areas. No shadows. Can imply innocence, light-hearted, comedy
Low-key lighting
Darkness and shadows. Often create suspense/ suspicion. Can also be used to create sense of romance if used with warm coloration. Can suggest secrecy and mystery.
Bottom/side lighting
Direct lighting from below or side. Associated with secrecy, danger, evil, moral ambiguity, or split personalities.
Soft focus
Image is intentionally blurred. Can suggest a dream-like quality
Hard focus
Focus is in sharp relief. Allows for a feeling of harsh reality.
3-Point Lighting
A common arrangement using 3 directions of lighting on a scene. Key light-from one bright source, fill light- to balance the key light, and backlight to give depth by lighting behind the subject.
Warm Colors
Colored filters used on lights to show more romanticized scene. Typically reds, pinks and oranges
Cool Colors
Colored filters used on lights to show harsher, grittier reality. Typically blues and greys.
Brightest area of scene/subject to focus attention.

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