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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Seeing Stars



I love all these installments of Find Your Eye.....and the opportunity to write about one again today.  Hard to find a space to let the mind just ramble around.  When it hits at the same time as inspiration....it's all good.


I don't know when it hit me, perhaps 6 months ago, I was watching TV one night and started noticing beautiful light in the moving pictures.  Pathetically, it may have been Survivor or maybe even my guilty pleasure Project Runway.  ("Designers, I'm sending in your models.")  Most scenes in either show are normally not anything special, but as lead ins-Survivor has amazing shots of landscapes and local wildlife, and Project Runway uses "golden hour" light glazing off tall buildings.  All of a sudden I thought "wow".

Sun and Grasses
Sun and Grasses

This week's challenge we were asked to think about cinematography in films and how it might influence or help our photography.  There were some suggested films known for excellence in cinematography.  What a wonderful excuse to watch "The King's Speech".  Confessing, I hadn't read the assignment until the night after I watched the film-great timing-but I had noticed the cinematography in several scenes.  I think this may be my eye starting to clue in to those things.

There was one scene in particular....an outdoor scene where the 2 main characters are walking on a promenade beautifully back lit, intense light with some sun flare.  One character stops and the other keeps moving forward toward the camera and the depth of field and long vanishing line became more and more prominent.  Amazingly done.

Late Summer {355/365}
Late Summer
Not a promenade, but a sense of back lighting and sun flare here.  Love this look.

I also noted scenes that took place inside the speech therapist's office.  The walls were colored a turquoise blend.  At first when the King was reluctant and unsure, the lighting was flat against the walls.  As the two become better acquainted and more comfortable, they shift position in the room, to a warmer space, more intimate, less standoff-ish and barren.

I have noticed too in film, the change of focus.  Something I never considered until recently.  I know photography is bringing this out.  I watched a lot of Boston Legal episodes.  They did a lot with conversations between characters while showing both, yet changing the focus from one to another, even to capture a facial expression.

Laura and Carol
Laura and Carol
While I know this isn't a great photo, it is an example of the focus on one person with the other more distant...something I thought about when I was taking and later viewed the photos.  Direct influence of watching moving film.

I love the thought of looking for these things in moving pictures.  I love too that I have instinctively started doing this, unconsciously to consciously.  Now I will be even more aware.  I hope I can continue to follow the story lines.

Thanks Kat for this thought provoking subject.  I think it will pay dividends.

10 comments:

seabluelee said...

Susan, what a great job you did on this assignment. (I'm still pondering it.) How cool to realize you've already keyed in on some of your favorite cinematic effects both in motion pictures and in your photography. The images you chose are perfect to illustrate your points. I especially love Late Summer - the backlit seedheads, blurred but still recognizable background, and sunflare. It really captures the mood of "late summer" for me.

Woody said...

(raising hand enthusiastically!!)
I recently read about the 5 types of lighting used in portraits and video and DPS posted a nice video of it today. I though I read somewhere that this originated in cinematography.

Have a look, it's very informative.

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/5-classic-lighting-positions-for-portrait-photography

Tamar SB said...

I love your first shot, Susan!! The lighting is just marvelous!

Brenda said...

Susan,
More of your golden light to savor! I really like "Late Summer" as well - I haven't mastered sun flare yet.
Like you, I realized one day that I was watching TV and movies differently - noticing the light and the depth-of-focus in a way that I never had before.
And what a great excuse to watch "The King's Speech" - such a fine and inspirational film.

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

Since really getting into photography this year I've begun to notice more of the same aspects in films and tv. I know what you mean about shifting the focus on different characters in the same scene, its an interesting way of drawing attention to a subject.

Kat Sloma said...

Great examples Susan, I'm going to have to watch the King's Speech! I keep hearing about it and we were in Italy when it came out. It's amazing to notice all of the subtle details that take a good movie to great through the cinematography. You did a great job of capturing that feel in your last image, using the technical settings to tell a story. The person talking in focus, the one listening slightly behind and out of focus - very effective!

Gilly said...

That's what I love about photography - it opens your eyes to so many other things too. Even boring films can become interesting when you start looking at how they're lit, what photographic techniques they're using, how they use colour, and so on. Haven't managed to see The King's Speech yet, but you've made me want to see it even more than I did anyway.

Love the light in those first two photos.

Cathy H. said...

I guess we've all got it bad! I've even been seeing some lighting and composition in commercials that aren't too bad!! Great images to illustrate your post!!

Ms. Becky said...

two nights ago i watch the king's speech and i know precisely what scene you're referring to. it was a beautiful one to be sure. i really like sun and grasses. i resist thinking about technicalities at my age, but i take your word that it must be important. i love laura and carol too. it seems shot from the heart. happy day susan. i'm so behind running to catch up.

Laurie said...

I watched the King's Speech several months ago. I remember the scene you are talking about, on the promenade. Wonderful post on this assignment. By the way, I love your second shot.