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Contextual Image Elements

Applied Aesthetics and Contextualism

We have identified and isolated five fundamental and contextual image elements of television and film: (1) light and color, (2) two-dimensional space, (3) three-dimensional space, (4) time/motion, and (5) sound.

Applied Aesthetics emphasizes that art isn't an isolated object hidden away in a museum and that aesthetic experiences are very much part of everyday life.

Incidents of Life
Context and Perception

In the spirit of Edman, contextualism stresses the essential, intimate, and purposeful relationship between art and life

We perceive our world not in terms of absolutes but rather as changing contextual relationships.

When a prism bends what appears to be white sunlight waves we can clearly distinguish colors . Light Light is the signal that our eyes receive and our brain translates into perception. and ultimately the behaviors of your recipients. It consists of bits of energy (energy particles) that behave commonly as electromagnetic waves. Even when producing a simple commercial. Selective Seeing Responsibility Selective Perception. Light is a form of radiant like seeing-frequently but not too accurately called "selective perception"-is like selective exposure to information. Each of us sees an event from his or her point of view according to a specific experimental context. you are essentially manipulating the feelings.Stabilizing the Environment Our perceptual mechanisms are designed to stabilize and simplify our surroundings as much as possible so that they become manageable. emotions.

The mood and the way people act in each one is very different. . Shadows Falloff conveys light/shadow relationship An attached shadow is inevitably fixed to its object. We can tell if an object is resting on a table with a sharp shadow attached to it or hovering in a distance with its fuzzy shadow. No amount of wiggling or turning will remove the attached shadow from the object assuming you keep it within the same illuminating source. 1. Cast shadows primarily help us located the object relative to its surroundings. This importance of this concept will help you be an effective visual artist. It can also mislead us to perceive what we do not normally expect. The brightness contrast between the light and shadow sides of an object. Lighting Purposes and Functions The basic purpose of lighting is to manipulate and articulate the perception of our environment. Compare a well-lit business office to a popular nightclub. 2. Lighting also sets our mood and the way we act within an environment.Lighting (for film/TV/pictures) Lighting is the deliberate manipulation of the light and shadows for a specific communication purpose. The rate of change from light to the shadow.

When you can use the light source itself as an effective dramatic agent. Key light is the principal source of illumination. . Backlight separates the figure from the background and provides sparkle. At high noon shadows are very short. Fill light or side light controls fall element that operates as an important aesthetic intensifier in a scene. There is always a shot of the sun to intensify the effect in the sequence. The common indicator for clock time is the length of cast shadows. The early-morning and late-afternoon sun casts long shadows.Spatial Orientation Time Orientation Lighting as dramatic agent Lighting reveals the basic shape of an object and where it is located relative to its environment. Imagine every movie you have seen with a person enduring hardship in a desert. back. Standard Lighting Triangular or 3-point lighting arrangement consists of key. and fill lights. The attached shadows give us the shape of an object and cast shadows give us the location of an object. Control of light and shadows also helps viewers tell time and even the seasons.

It is neither the chiaroscuro nor the flat lighting. we emphasize the contour/shape of things. Yet. We light the background and not the figure. and fun. Thematic function emphasizes the theme or story of the scene. I saw the first demo of the only 24 frames per second HDTV camera made by Sony and noticed that with all the advancements in the field. As its function. it is important to be aware of it and use it when needed. We can achieve various lighting effects by the use of filters in front of cameras or electronic manipulation of various scenes. HDTV is still video! Chiaroscuro lighting brings out the dramatic and emotional senses in us Matching a real or actual light source illumination. and upbeat feeling. Flat Lighting Silhouette Lighting Functions of flat lighting are: Visibility. High key lighting for optimal visibility.Chiaroscuro Lighting Chiaroscuro Functionality Chiaroscuro lighting means lighting for fast falloff and for light/dark contrast. Directional function is just as important. . So. This can be done both on film and television. truth. Spatial or compositional function allows the light and dark areas to balance each other out in a particular frame. It is easy to achieve silhouette lighting by mistake. cleanliness. video has not been able to match the extremes between light and dark areas. This lighting is extensively used in film production. Television or video lighting usually is flat. Thematic and emotional functions in flat lighting can suggest efficiency. Contrary to chiaroscuro lighting. You can use lighting to direct viewer's attention to a certain object or an area. It is not dramatic and used for a specific purpose. Emotional function of chiaroscuro lighting is to affect our feelings directly regardless of the actual subject matter of the scene. Silhouette lighting is another category.

gray. and news show. Color is. or the purity of color (chroma).Single and Multiple Camera Lighting Maximum lighting control can be achieved by single camera lighting. 2. Continuous action can be followed by multiple cameras without adjusting lights for each shot. gray. How light or dark that color appears. These rainbow colors are called spectral colors because their wavelengths fall into the visible electromagnetic spectrum. Our eyes receive light of a certain or various wavelengths. Blue. or black mixed into the hue. Hue is the color itself. represents the amount of white. soap opera. White. not of objects or liquids. Translucent material and liquids that appear colored. and green are all hues. You can notice this in your favorite game show. Although it will increase the control of lighting. As we look at objects we detect three basic color sensations: 1. The color it self. Color is light that has been divided into one or more visible light waves by some objects. The information is then transmitted to our brain and then interpreted by the brain as a color sensation. we can put various colored gels in front of lighting instruments to achieve certain colors.. yellow. The strength of that color. the multiple camera lighting technique is the best solution to a television studio setting. . it will take the longest to set up. By using this principal. and black have no chroma so they are called achromatic. With less control but more area to cover.. White light can be divided into rainbow by prism or water drops. red. 3. such as tinted sunglasses or red punch they transmit certain wavelengths. In this instance every shot must be lit for that camera angle and that gives the optimum control of light on objects in a scene. How we see color Saturation Color is the property of light. Saturation.

Mixed Mixing is a key to successful image making. You have to be conscious of the minimum and maximum amount of light hitting an object to be shot. Color changes depending on how much and what kind of light falls on the object or scene.Brightness Additive Color Mixing Subtractive Color Mixing Light Environment Brightness. A mirror…well reflects every thing back! A black cloth will do the opposite. . green. filter each other out. By changing the intensity of either. you can achieve a great variety of colors.Computers use the same additive mixing principle by generating the three primaries and adding them in various subtle proportions. It tells us how much light a color reflects. or all. Each paint has color filters built-in that blocks any other frequencies or hues from reaching your eyes. This information is processed and sent to your television set where three electron guns activate assigned red dots. Too little light will not show the right color and detail. the value of color. green dots. They can produce anywhere from thousands to millions of different hues. the reflection factor can give you various effects. we can see a variety of colors from overlapping their projection. Directors of photography are such kings. and blue. The primaries for additive mixing are red. Additive mixing in video works on the same principle. When mixed. Too much light will distort and exploit an object (you can use both concepts too create various effects). three primary colors are derived. If we use different slide projectors with various color filters in them. The best ones know exactly how to manipulate an image and convey a mood that a director wants. Be aware of surface reflectance! Depending on how much light is shed on an object. From the light entered a video camera. If you know and understand how to mix and when to use the right mix…you're king of image manipulation. Make it work for you! A dulling spray can be applied to shiny stuff to make them dull. often referred to as "additive primaries" or RGB. Some DP's get more money than directors because of their talent. Mixing various paints gives you the perfect example of subtractive color mixing. and blue dots on the screen. of the beams. tells us about the brightness or how light or dark a color appears in a black and white image.

the color setup of the display monitor (the TV you look at). Everything has its place. processing. Purple faces. Color referencing was not popular in the old movies! Now you know why. and the moving camera. The more bluish the light. the higher the color temperature. darker colors are the norm. and love can be suggested in a scene by the use of color. and broadcast of the image. Bright vibrant colors rule the day. It is useless to brag about green scenery when the viewer only sees a black and white image of it.Color Temperature The relative reddishness or bluishness of light is measured by color temperature in Kelvin Degrees. So. Color Juxtaposition. The ordinary light bulb is more reddish "white" light than fluorescent lighting. the color of the lights. Color Constancy. In a gloomy winter day. . In your daily life. hate. and Warm/Cool Colors. on a warm-sunny-summer day observe how people dress. composition. and expressiveness Color codes are visible. We can tell when colors on an over dub VHS tape gets screwed up. the proper levels insure a consistent recording. Chess players from Siberia!! The color composition can easily be upset by: The relative color temperature of lighting. Life. Notice how that energy works in MTV videos and weekly network sitcoms. Color structure Informational Function of Color Compositional Function of Color information. Check out how surfers from Hawaii dress vs. reds bleeding to other sections of the picture. the initial color setup in the camera. Color symbolism is a powerful property. Refer to our text for Surrounding Colors. Color Energy refers to levels of saturation and overall balance of color in the picture. and murky whites. death. You can also observe that from the people from different regions.

And I don't think Denny's clients will be happy to eat the "Grand Slam" with moving laser lights and colorful spotlights moving frantically. Warm colors can communicate a glowing feeling of passion in a scene. . Cool colors will give the exact opposite. we can entice the viewer to participate in the event.Expressive Function of Color We can tell (most of the time) that a sports car is more likely to have a bright red color and a limousine will most likely be black. How do you fell if you pay $20 to go to the hippest night club to find out that it is lit like Denny's! I don't think you will dance to the tunes the same way. Such desaturation is especially successful when we need to reveal or intensify an inner event. Desaturation theory suggests that by desaturating even to the point of omitting color altogether. Deemphasizing the outer appearance of things and draw attention to the inner reality of the event. to look into rather than merely at it.