Within this session, we learnt more about Lighting. In particular, we were learning about White Balance. White Balance is the balancing of the colours within the image, where it reduces the colour shading and balance so it has a more natural setting.
What is Light?
Might seem like a bit of a strange question, but it’s a serious one! Surprisingly, light links into Science – it includes the Electromagnetic Spectrum, and within film we use “Visual Light” which is what the human eye can see (and as an example, a bee can also see UV light).
From the diagram above, we can see that gamma rays have a short wavelength with a high frequency and a high amount of energy, whereas radio waves have a longer wavelength with a lower frequency and a lower amount of energy. Visible Light is around the middle of the EM Spectrum and is what the human eye can physically see, each colour within visible light has a different wavelength which allows the colours to be different, as some have a higher frequency (e.g Violet) whereas some have a lower frequency (e.g Red).
We also learnt about Colour Temperature. Colour temperature is the specific temperature of a certain colour. It allows us to see how much of a certain colour is being used in “Kelvin’s”. We can see this from Kelvin’s Scale.
From the colour temperatures, we can work out that we need a different colour to be able to balance the light within the shot. To do this, we use the Colour Wheel to find out what colour is needed to be able to balance the light.
An example on how this works is that if you’re filming outside and it’s a nice sunny day, on the Kelvin Scale that means it’s blue – opposite blue is orange, so to balance the colours, you’d need to add some orange to the photo.
We tried out this task in groups as well, by taking photos:
- Interior + Exterior
We used 6 different White Balancing features:
This allowed us to see the difference in the photos from using different white balancing.
Interior lighting is different from exterior lighting as interior uses tungsten light (light bulbs). This means that we have to add more blue within the shot to be able to make a good white balance, and allows us to see how much of a difference the photos would be if we added more of a warm or cold colour to the photo and how much it changes. Generally for interior you would need to add more blue colours as it would make a more natural feel.
From looking at the interior photos, it seems that other than Auto, the Fluorescent White Balancing was the best, as it made the colours seem more neutral and made them clear rather than being too yellow or too blue.
Exterior lighting is different to Interior, as we need to generally add more cold colours (orange/red/yellow etc.) which allows us to see how much more would be needed to give it that more “natural” feel. Generally for exterior, you would need to add orange colours as it would create a more natural feel.
From looking at our exterior photos, it seems like the Cloudy White Balancing was best for this shoot, which makes sense as it was used outside on a cloudy day which supported what we thought would be best for it.
INTERIOR + EXTERIOR
For the location of Interior + Exterior, we decided to get quite close to the windows within our college, as it allowed us to have a mix of both interior and exterior lighting. I thought that it wouldn’t change too much at first as it would already have a mix of both interior and exterior lighting, however, after this shoot we can clearly see it does change how the photos actually look. This is due to the fact that more of the interior was used than the exterior, and adding the extra balancing over the top makes us realise that we need more of the exterior colour within this as there isn’t as much within the photo itself.
For these shots, it seems that Auto White Balancing was best used as it took into consideration that there were interior and exterior light sources which allowed it to automatically balance what was needed.
We had a small task where we also had to go and take photos by using reflectors to reflect the light. The colours on the reflectors were: Gold, White, Silver and Black. We looked around the college for a light source (which would become the key light), and could see the difference with how we could reflect some of the lighting.
Three Point Lighting
Three Point Lighting uses three different lighting methods in three different locations, usually to the left of the camera, to the right of the camera but further away and behind the camera. These shots are:
The Key Light is the light at the side of the camera. This is the strongest light out of all of the lighting sources.
The Fill Light is the light on the opposite side of the Key Light. It’s a bit further away to reduce the intensity and fills in the majority of the shadows.
The Back Light is used to add a rim at the side of something. It brings it out from the background itself and the separation adds more dimension to the image.
As shown below, we tried out the task ourselves and worked out which reflector would be best (as a Fill Light) from a Key Light.
We first tried to take our reflector shots outside, and it wasn’t working too well as it’s a cloudy day and not enough sunlight was getting through to be the Key Light within this task, so we decided to move somewhere indoors where we could use a different light source that would be effective for the task.
From this exercise we were able to work out which reflector would be best in the specific location that we were in. Personally for this task I feel the Gold Reflector worked best as it stopped the majority of the shadows on Kyle, and worked best out of all of the shots that we got from our reflectors. The problem with the golden reflector however was that it clearly shows up in Kyle’s glasses, whereas the other reflectors didn’t which could be a problem.
From doing this task, it allowed me to understand more about how important balancing the colours within a shot is. It allowed me to realise that each shot needs a balance of warm and cold colours to be able to feel more natural, and allow a better photo/video result. I also realised how you could use a reflector to your advantage if there was a lack of multiple lights, and how three point lighting works.