When shooting a film it is the lighting director or the director of photography is in charge of the lighting. There are different things light is used for such as: illumination, mood, to guide the audiences attention and to show texture and shape. They often use shadows to show shape and texture in the scene to. The two different types of shadows are:

  • Cast shadows – a shadow made by an object, usually on cast on the floor or what ever is around them, depending on where the light is coming from.
  • Attached shadows – shadows put on the subject by using lights, to create effect in the scene.

Lighting is very important in film. It brings different effects to different scenes and shows different things that the director want the audience to notice. Lighting can also help to show emotion and metaphors from what is going on in the film. It brings depth to scenes and brings texture and detail to things in the scene.

There is lots of different aspects of light that create effects in film.


  • Hard – creates defined shadows and uses light and dark areas
  • Soft – uses diffused light, a lot less contrast between light and dark.
  • Harsh – extreme brightness and darkness, sharp shadows.


  • Frontal light
  • Side light
  • Back light
  • Under light
  • Top light


  • Artificial – light made by bulbs, glow sticks, man made light sources
  • Natural – sunlight, moonlight, fire, naturally occurring lights


  • Apparent colour – all the different colour seen by the human eye
  • Colour temperature – the warmness or coolness of the light

White Balance:

Correcting the colour of the shot to make the lighting look more realistic and not to orange or blue.

3-Point Lighting :

You can create lots of different effects with the simple 3 lights and provides you with a good foundation for you to be able to add more lights, creates somewhat of a ‘reality’ lighting so it will make the scene look more natural.

For this task we took photos inside and outside using different lighting techniques like natural light and artificial light combined, refactors and different types of lights.

The first two pictures were taken outside. The lighting in these was a mixture of natural light and artificial. On the day we went out it wasn’t that sunny but it was still bright, but there was clouds, we also used a reflector and a small led lights. Then the bottom two were taken inside. For these pictures we used bigger light, a big led light and then a refactor. The pictures on the left are more softer light and the ones on the right are more hard light because the right ones have more brighter light and more defined shadows.

We were then asked to look at 3 photos from films we like and think about the lighting used in the picture from the scene.

The Wolf of wall street (2013)


The interview (2104)


Split (2016)


We then recreated one of the pictures. I recreated the first picture from The Wolf of Wall street. This was shot outside, so I took mine outside to. I used the sunlight on Fins face and a refactor on the opposite side to try and create less shadow, but I still had shadow on one side of the face. If I was to recreate this picture again I would use an additional light on Fins right side so I wouldn’t have any shadow at all.


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Castiello, U. (2001) Implicit processing of shadows. Available at: (Accessed: 3 February 2017).

nairm (2009) Film Terms Glossary. Available at: (Accessed: 3 February 2017).