Sunday, October 10, 2010

Learning about lighting… from politicians?

DPMag Published in Blog
Learning about lighting… from politicians?


I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but in my part of the country election season is really heating up. I was watching TV the other night when I noticed a commercial for a Senatorial candidate. As is often the case, the commercial heavily referenced the candidate’s opponent. And that’s when it hit me: we can learn a lot from political commercials and print ads. How? By examining how the candidates are lit and photographed. In the commercial I saw, the candidate who had funded the spot was photographed beautifully in warm, soft, inviting light. At the end of the commercial was her opponent, and of course they chose a photo in which he didn’t look very good. They used a news shot, made from an awkward angle, converted it to black and white, upped the contrast, and made sure there was a hard, raking light source that brings out every flaw. Basically, the campaign utilized lighting to help send a message. We can learn from this, because that’s exactly what we as photographers need to do with every picture we make. Want to make someone look warm and friendly? Use a warm, soft light. Want them to look beautiful, friendly and approachable, make sure it’s not too high contrast and that the source is nice and broad. Want to make someone look a bit more evil, maybe even sinister? Remove the color, go high contrast, and use a hard light source to show them in painful detail. Put this to good use and, next thing you know, politicians will be contacting you to photograph their campaigns.
Login to post comments

Popular How-To

Popular Gear

Subscribe & Save!
International residents, click here.