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 white, black and grey):

… and then lists the kind of technical details needed to achieve contrast effectively:

Try It Yourself

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

wolfcrow dives deeper into specific camera settings and assist tools that can help to achieve contrast without losing detail:

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: