“Photography” means “writing with light”, and light is raw material of any photograph, including motion pictures. Use of lighting is a key part of telling the story in a movie, and cinematographers use it create depth in flat images, highlight characters, set the mood, and define the look of a picture.
For example, a high-key, brightly-lit look in a disturbing horror story may contribute to the sense of tension through its contrast with the plot line.
Very interesting! I enjoy most movies with blithe ignorance of the expertise behind their creation, but it is sometimes interesting to take a peek behind the curtain. I am watching the horror classic “The Thing” tonight and will be on the lookout for these lighting techniques.
Interesting. I was hoping it might explain why so many movies nowadays are so dark, we (my wife & I usually watch together) frequently wish we could add light to the scenes. Many of the scenes in such movies are nearly free of visual information! OK, the story or life in general, is dark. We really don’t get it. Are we supposed to imagine the entire scene; the whole story? Maybe it is an attempt to be cinematically inclusive to blind audiences?