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Grammar of the Shot, 2nd Edition by Christopher J. Bowen, Roy Thompson

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Contrast

If you stare at an all white wall, no visual contrast exists—everything is the same, a wash of white. If you then paint half that wall black you will create a very well-defined high contrast visual statement—white instantly turns into black along the painted edge between the two tones, resulting in half-bright values and half-dark values. Film lighting deals in similar terms, where contrast can mean the relative differences between light and dark areas within the frame. A high contrast image is an image that contains areas that are both very bright and very dark, with well-defined edges between the two. Conversely, a low contrast image contains more even lighting levels across the whole frame such that the delineation between light and ...

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