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Lighting for Film: Simple not Plain

Lesson 11 of 14

Lighting at Dusk

Bill Megalos

Lighting for Film: Simple not Plain

Bill Megalos

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Lesson Info

11. Lighting at Dusk


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:17:28
2 The Qualities of Light Duration:48:08
3 Hard Light vs. Soft Light Duration:22:54
4 Three Point Lighting Duration:12:17
6 Basic Light Safety & Gear Duration:11:48
7 Lighting a Subject Duration:15:36
8 Lighting a Room in Daylight Duration:12:55
10 Creating Drama with Light Duration:38:03
11 Lighting at Dusk Duration:18:23
12 Lighting in the Shade Duration:21:04
14 Lighting for Night Duration:11:30

Lesson Info

Lighting at Dusk

So here we are outside, you know, outside external exteriors day exteriors have their own issues because there's so much contrast between what's in the sun and what isn't right what's the the sun makes such extreme shadows, and with dark side really needs to be filled. You either need to fill the dark side or to or to slow down the light's on the heart on the on the flipside and the sunlight is pretty harsh this time of day it's it's a little less harsh, but it's also very low. So if you look it's it's not the most flattering light there is, so the first thing we're going to do is we're going to try slowing the light with big light source that will make the light softer on on on the actors and then we'll try some other techniques afterwards where we'll just we won't bring the light down. We'll just work on unfeeling in on the other side. First thing we're gonna do this if you were to come over here, you would notice that there's a lot of can you look at her police there's a big contras...

t between the light that's coming from the sun, which is quite harsh and the other side, the dark side so what we're going to do is we're gonna slow down the light from the sun a little bit and we're also going to make it a lot smoother, it's not going to be quite his harsh, so because this is a romcom, this is a romantic comedy. Normally we would put this up on a on a on a, um on c stands on big combo stands, but justice of speed today we're gonna have adrienne hold one end and emmanuel hold the other. So the first thing we'll do is we'll we're going to get our two shot first, so we'll lift this up. You guys can take it back a little bit. All we need to do is cover their bodies, all right? So make sure there's no shadows on their bodies and then I think I think you gotta pull it back so I could get a little bit further and get on a longer lens on them. Okay, so this will get a two shot from here now, the other the rest of you guys, can somebody look at the monitor? We need somebody to tell us now noticing that this wei have softened the light on them, but it has also taken away some of the light, hasn't it? So what's happening is the background is a little over exposed, so what we're going to do is rather than go where it's really, really hot there we're going to try we'll move over here where the backgrounds a little bit darker and we'll bring that we'll bring that down like that um how's that look that look good for exposure stay too bright uh there that's better remember you have to be directly on in the centre on that monitor to really don't don't look from the side right got to be on access to the monitoring I am um so how's that look uh looks good it's pretty good you know what we can do is we can also come back if I come back a little further I can if I get further back I can use a longer lens and that will show me less of the background all right yeah that's better because this guy was really blown out so I want I'm raising the camera so we see less guy how's the focus there is that okay? Perfect. Okay all right so now we've got this we got are two shot let's get the other shot from the other side okay, we'll get the singles we can bring this back in now as we bring it in it gets it gets the light does get brighter on her and we can do this is over the shoulders so I can I can close this down let's move you over just a little bit well, fake this a little bit move you move into the plant I know that you know, the guys yesterday were complaining about it too that's the price we now now we do have a little problem here the way we could we could put you know what we could do what? Let's move you out of it? Okay? And then you can come away from stuff. Okay? All right, but we but coming just a little bit, laura because we do want to see that city behind you coming a little bit to the wall to the wall to the wall. Yeah, okay. Stop there. Okay, so now this is this is looking pretty good, huh? Pretty. Uh, laura, one step away from the wall. All right? You see, now I really need you to go into the plant. I'm sorry. Okay? And go back over. The reason is the background what happens is without that, we don't really see the beautiful city the way we really want to see it. How's the housing, housing, the focus and focus is ok. Yeah, right there. Okay. And the exposure's? Good it's. Perfect. Yeah. Okay, I'm going to zoom out just a little so we can see a wider shot there okay now, because, well, because we've brought the light down on her and softened it and made it rap a little bit more we don't really now the exposure on the other side is good the fill light is good on the other side let's see what happens over here now I'm going to have to open up the exposure a little bit because he's a little bit darker now we might say well look her hair is too her hair is a little too bright I mean her hair is bright and distracting so what we could do then is we could take one of the solids or did we bring the flag's up now because we're using a soft source here we do need to get the light fairly close in yeah that salad would be good do you want to hold that eric so here's what you're gonna do with this solid because you're going to bring it in like this so not that it's killed just before it kills him but you see how you stop you're slowing down the light on her yeah right like that okay looks when you're getting ok and we're gonna put you into the plan a little bit this time okay oh wait alright here we go. All right stand up and look at each other and smile okay now I think I think having those plant pieces in around the side is pretty nice now if I want to get less of her head I have to come back I need t I would be on a longer lens and I could or I could do it like this and the exposure's ok there is that better remember you have to be right in the center of the thing it's still too dark no right I thought that looked fine I thought that looked fine. That's that's good. Yeah. All right, so that's one way of dealing with this okay, we still have a little son let's try something else let's try let's let's work with this light now. All right, so so we've already done that we've already brought in to six by now for a small production, I would say a six by silk like that is about the biggest one that you would want to use because anything bigger than that, you really need some very professional grips who on a windy day like to this today could just take it and fly and people could get hurt. So we're we're about as big as we can get for a shoot like this I mean, certain bigger shoes they have twenty buys twenty feet by twenty feet, but that becomes as a very big sail area. Anyway, right now we're losing the light we were light is pretty low it's just above the horizon so let's see if we can get some more shots here with daylight one of the issues that we had it wasn't an issue turned out looking okay for us with the silk is that the silk takes light away we say slows it down it took light away so it made the background brighter when we shot this way featuring laura, it looked kind of great because the city looked great in the background. We got away with it with this side, we were very lucky also because the brewery building that's, right there was a, um shake, so it didn't look over over overly overly exposed in the back when we when we shot this way, we have to be careful that we found the background that was kind of dark or like those green trees rather than the sky. But now, let's, try it where we're going to keep we're gonna maintain the harsh the sunlight, keep the hard sunlight and let's do some fill light we'll we'll try this like first because this light here is, um it's already balanced for daylight and and if you look at her face to begin with what's happening is the sun, which is fairly warm, is is is hitting her king her but the other side, if you look at the way you hold this for a second, if you look at the light on my hand when there's no sun on it, you see that it's quite blue it's from up there so using a blue or fill light here is probably gonna work for us okay so if we bring that feel like over to here and let's see what happens now this is a light we talked about before we didn't show it in the studio this is um this is it's a fluorescent light but it's been color corrected all the green that we normally have inflorescence is uh is not in so what's happened you're adrian has put this fairly high teo to simulate the light from the sky can we turn it on and off adrien let me let me put this in here okay so let's get this camera in position here maybe I should put this on um maybe I should put it on the tripod here so we can really look at it in in action without me shaking it around because we're going to be we're going to be evaluating what it looks like with and without the camera uh just with camera eric this this one's not loathe camera up so it's about a little over her head wait bring it back down okay now with this shot of this'll last one that we did we did over the shoulder this time what we're going to do is we'll do something that's a little more classic without we'll pull let's pull let's pull you back a little bit uh reach pull you back okay so what's going to happen is we're already way haven't shot the two shot but wait can use the two shot from before when should we bring you back here and what's going to happen is we're going to make a little space here so that we could get a little closer to her but we could get more on access to her rather than having him in an over the shoulder and lets the light is off now let's see what happens when we turn it on okay that's all the way out it's not doing very much is it okay so what do we need to do? So this light really isn't quite big enough for what we want to do so let's let's slow down the light on here we had a double in a flag right behind kate's right behind kate's foot well we're going to use this flag this time okay? This is a double net. What this does is keeps the same quality of the light but so who's gonna watch the whole of this one up I thank you just make sure it doesn't you don't see the lines on her on her head okay. Okay so here now I can open this up and now it's looking a lot better, isn't it? Yeah uh let's see, I still think we could probably get away with just a little bit more fill light don't you think alright, so what we'll do is we'll move this in rich come on out of the way. A second. We'll move this and and we'll move it down so it is not coming from quite so high this right in like this. Okay, so by moving the light in, all right how's, how's the exposure look and now you're talking to him. But if you can get back in here so she can, she can give her lines to you. Rush would it be possible to back up the kino flo just a little bit? Because they're conceived in the frame? It does, you know, that really doesn't matter for what we're doing. Does it a tte this point or does it? Okay, keep that held up. Ok. Alright. How's, the focus. Perfect. Okay? And the exposure is good. Yeah. Okay. Okay. And what's happening is even though he's off camera like this, we're going to actually move him a little closer. We're going to split the difference between the camera and him. So that she's looking a little closer to camera and that will look better. Okay, now let's, do the reverse on the other side. Well, we still have a couple of moments of sunlight direct sunlight, okay, let's, we're gonna move everything around you can relax a second eric thanks for holding that and you're going to step back well I wish you could get back into position your original let's come come this way a little bit because yeah there we go um now we have established this scene that laura is a little bit taller than him so so we're gonna we're gonna will bring this camera down a little bit and I think it might and scoot over a little bit into the yeah there you go okay we've got those plants again what do you think about bringing your the sun is going down it's actually getting darker even as we're doing this it's just hitting the edge of the so I think we're going to need you we're still going to need your flag in there that's that double all right now you can see that we've lost the sun it's not just that he's darker come up a little higher you're hitting the top of his head yeah and so we'll open this up a little bit and did you want to come and give him someone to tow act with scoot down just a little bit okay so that's two ways of doing it one way of doing it is with the using the silk and softening light overall but right now this time of day this looks actually quite beautiful even though these air smaller lights because the sun is going down were pretty we're competing with that and we're doing okay uh let's set up something else while we're waiting for it to get dark okay let's um why don't we do a scene in the shade here and how can we kind of liven up this shade a little bit because in here the shade is kind of kind of flat and so let's see if we can come up with got enough lights we have enough time until it gets dark because we're going to do a night scene looks let's see if we can we'll set something up here may be way got a table for you guys are you cold? You okay? This all this is doing is this one and then this one is is not changing the quality of the light yeah it's just changing the intensity of it says look look at my finger at my ring on here you'll see that this is just it's still shining just the same way it's just darker and then that intensity matches with us off like that we have from the fluorescent lights. Well, the fluorescent light is just filling in because if this see how hard and come over here and you when you look at me you see how hard the light is on the side here you see how I'm dark here and I'm light here so this one is is darkening that and this is just bringing this filling this up a little bit. Especially it's. Coming more from the front that's a term I was looking for field. It fills it in more. But it's also very soft. It softens it. So they both look very good in this in this situation. Okay. Um, so all right. So you guys want to come up with something over here? Yeah, I think you should sit. Yeah, let's sit here because now we kind of lost the son. And although people really like the way this looks let's, see if we can kind of just warm you guys up a little in it in the course of make it just a little bit more, I don't know. Let's. Say, rahm coming again. All right. Light is soft, its overall soft, but it also is missing a little bit of contrast. So one thing we could do now we are. We are a little bit, um locked in because we're up against this wall. We might want to move them away so we can if we want to put some life from over here.

Class Description

Young filmmakers are often taught to de-prioritize lighting. They are told that lighting takes too much time, money, and expertise to have any profound effect on their work. Lighting for Film: Simple not Plain with Bill Megalos changes that.

In Lighting for Film, Bill will show you how to light technically, instinctually, and cinematically. You will learn how to light for both interior and exterior work and how the simplest lighting techniques can produce the most dramatic effects. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Produce story-altering lighting effects with minimal equipment
  • Light for both of interior and exterior content
  • Choose instruments that suit your budget and filming goals

Bill will teach professional lighting techniques you can use on your own or with a crew that defy the everyday budget and common-wisdom of filmmakers having to tell a story "in the dark."


a Creativelive Student

This is a wonderful class with a very knowledgeable and experienced instructor. It starts with the principles you need to understand and then walks you through the process of actually doing the work on set. You can see what it takes to accomplish the work. I will be watching this over and over to let it all soak in. Thank you Bill for putting this together.

Joe Stevens

Great class, learned a lot. Would highly recommend!

Abel Riojas

great class! i've struggled with proper lighting and he broke it down in a matter of minutes. very simple and easy to understand. i would recommend this to someone that is still trying to find their "voice"