Project 3 The beauty of artificial light

Review of Photographers using artificial light:

Christopher Doyle

This video shows the evocative lighting that Christoper Doyle uses to light his characters. Alot of the scenes are dark and are shot looking through something, often completely black on the edges with bright almost primary colours lighting the subjects.  He particularly seems to like reds and oranges which give a warm sensual nature to the images.

The techniques outlined in this video:

  • Wide angle lens as wide as 18 mm
  • long lenses
  • shallow depth of field
  • angles off kilter
  • moving camera
  • use of colour, influenced the neon colours
  • embraced random chaos of colours
  • used dark alleys and tight spaces
  • silhouetted actors against the colours
  • liked buildings and the way light fell on them
  • inspired low angle shots
  • used small spaces and street lights
  • the lighting in a naturalistic environment is always from the top
  • actors always lit by one light, rarely any back light or glamour light
  • introduce a slight blue tint into the faces of the leading ladies.
  • Contrast ratio of the charts
  • Blacks had a lot of green in because he’s using fuji film

“I think the point of cinematography, of what we do, is intimacy. Is intent, is the balance between the familiar and the dream, it is being subjective and objective, it is being engaged and yet standing back and noticing something that perhaps other people didn’t notice before, or celebrating something that you feel is beautiful or valid, or true or engaging in some way.” — Christopher Doyle

Don’t Look Now Nicolas Roeg, 1973 Cinematography | Anthony B. Richmond

“During the minutes or seconds that this fleeting image is on the screen, you have to enable the viewer to see and especially to experience that there is a very rapid emotional shock. So the lighting has to be designed in such a way that its form can pierce through the screen and travel like an arrow into the viewer’s mind.” — Henri Alekan

The advantage of still photography, is that the viewer has time to peruse the image at leisure so perhaps the impact could be more subtle?

quotes and images from : [accessed 20.04.18


Tony Ray-Jones Interviews Brassai” Pt. I (1970)

Although trained in art Brassai says he thinks education and intelligence are better prerequisites for photography as painters try to unconsciously take photos like paintings and that photographers need to see things fresh, using their intelligence as well as their eye.