Film School: Chiaroscuro & Contrast Ratio

L to R: Johannes Vermeer's 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' (1665); 'Apocalypse Now' (1979) L to R: Johannes Vermeer's 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' (1665); 'Apocalypse Now' (1979)

Balancing light and dark in your image – the cinematic way.

StudioBinder introduces the concept of Chiaroscuro Lighting in Film — Balancing Cinematic Light & Darkness:

Cinematographer wolfcrow identifies nine combinations of overexposed, underexposed and middle exposed lighting…

… or nine combinations of white, black and grey exposure (click to enlarge):

Try It Yourself

Aputure demonstrates using tools such as false colour monitoring to Create Depth With Your Light [Contrast Ratios]:

Rob Ellis goes through, step by step, how to use contrast ratio to achieve a scene which looks dark, but also looks correctly exposed – and, in the process, reveals how, contrary to what one may expect, noise in the shadows can be reduced if lit for a lower ISO:

Further Viewing

Sit in on an entire light metering, film-making, Q&A workshop:

A more detailed look at the camera assist tools mentioned here, and how that leads into post-production:

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