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Behind the Lens by Jay Holben

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4.20Art of Darkness: No Light Lighting

If we were to listen to the hype from some camera manufacturers, lighting isn’t necessary anymore and cameras can shoot in total darkness! Although that certainly isn’t the case, today’s digital cameras are considerably more light-sensitive and can shoot in less light than their predecessors, but there is a trade-off.

Cinematography, by definition of the word, is “writing with light,” but the art of photography is just as much about lack of light as it is about the light itself. The balance between light and shadow is where the science of photography meets the art.

Today’s cinematographers seem to frequently find themselves in situations where light is a rare commodity. This is partially due to the marketing ...

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