Entry Four – Cinematography and Lighting


Cinematography is a tern that comes from the role of cinematographer that is derived from cinema photographer.  Much like a normal photographer except that a cinematography photographs with moving film.  This director of photography’s role is to capture film as outlined in the script with the aide and supervision from the director of the film.

The Cinematographer/Director of Photography (sometimes called a DP) is one of the more obscure members of the production team.  The role produces all the visual elements of a film and every creative choice such as composition, lighting, and camera motion is usually created by the cinematographer.

Figure1 – The Cinematography of Wes Anderson’s Go-To DP, Robert Yeoman, Nofilmschool.com 2015

For visually striking film and style you cannot compete with How Wes Anderson Directs his films.  This is all down to his Director of Photography and cinematographer Robert Yeoman.


Lighting is vastly important when it comes to cinematography and when trying to establish the look and feel of your images or movie.  Lighting is massively important to look at in terms of the quality of your footage as not enough lighting can mean having a lot of film grain but also if you dont have enough lighting you might not even be able to clearly see what you want the audience to see in the frame.  Some elements like having a green screen will not work if you don’t have the proper lighting.  In this section we will look at three point lighting. Lighting can also effect how the audience looks at the video you are presenting them, they can depict the mood and the emotion that you are seeing on screen with darker scenes implying a more depressing picture while brightness and a well lit scene can imply a happy situation.

Three point lighting

Also known as triangle lighting is a standard in video production.  It uses three lights in three different areas.  They are called the Key Light, the Fill Light, and the Back Light.

Key Light

The Key Light is the main light and you’ll want this light to be the most powerful.  Placed on either the left or the right depending on what your setup is, it allows for the element in your shot to be well lit but also adds a little bit of a shadow to the opposite side.  In class we made use of this set up and I used another class member, Rebecca Briars as my subject.


Fill Light

The Fill Light is placed on the opposite side of the Key Light and is usually less powerful.  What this is supposed to do is fill in the shadow created by the Key light.  by experimenting with this you can create some interesting effects and looks.



Back Light

Placed behind the subject, this light is essential to separate the subject from the background, allowing us to add definition to the subject by creating an outline.



Low angle

Placing the light below the subject in the scene will illuminate them from the bottom up creating a somewhat heavenly effect.



What is Cinematography? | Arts | The Harvard Crimson . 2017. What is Cinematography? | Arts | The Harvard Crimson . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/2/8/what-is-cinematography/. [Accessed 02 January 2017].

Figure1 – No Film School. 2017. The Cinematography of Wes Anderson’s Go-To DP, Robert Yeoman. [ONLINE] Available at: http://nofilmschool.com/2015/10/cinematography-wes-andersons-go-to-dp-robert-yeoman. [Accessed 02 January 2017].

Figure2 – YouTube. 2017. The Cinema of Wes Anderson – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJKxesirF4U. [Accessed 02 January 2017].

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